Saturday, April 11, 2015

Passing: A Poem

From center stage-lit, high-browed 
Face, with hue
White as any, context of offering apologia
Biographical, words come 
Confess some
Mixed bloodline of race—for purpose serves
Backtown hick, long as 
Near-relation, well as
Black or Indian, then for
First time perk up languid
Listeners in aisles who now
Are searching, eyes, for signs
Not before seen in 
Familiar face, lines 
Or pigments that give
Up the game and each in mind
Like catching some 
Hysterical illness, like licking paint
In children’s school, like phantom gas 
In bomb shelter
Thinks “I
Can see it! It’s there! Can you?” (Doesn’t matter
Each knows the face did not 
Change color intervening, it’s like 
Those illusions where 
Old man swaps his
Chin for hair
And turns thereby 
Into beauteous youth) 
“And Here we were 
Thinking, he was like us, Like us he spoke on Subject out 
Of Goodness of Heart, like us 
Instead we find 
Another case 
Of special pleading, public working out 
Of private jealousy” Each catches thought,
Embarrassed, quick, tucks away like
Stained kerchief --
Though interest
Flags, for some, the rest
Lean forward in and 
Strain towards more, 
Eyes wide now mouths in
Mold of Hallmark greeting slipping 
Margarine kindness dripping 
Cooing pity, pitting
Encouraging nods against his last grasp of
Human-manity “Take your 
First steps! Can do it!” Speaker knows
What they are doing, has done
The same his self, has shunned
Plenty of others, has been 
Cooer and clucker and killer, has sinned
Thus against so many 
Passers before, ones
Further down
On color pole

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