words by Sylvia Jones
i am i be –De La Soul
Letters to My Daughter pulsing; a phantom limb borrowed
equipped me to love my mother. You personified debonair
You fashioned me a skeptic so I was prepared for shortcomings
and backfires, anticipating what looks like progress; a moonwalk,
an illusion of forward.
Lorde, Hooks, Dove, Giovanni, Raab, Boyle can be blamed too.
But without you Maya, I am disarranged. Come back
and teach us how to listen better. After they krooned your death
Each avenue struck me as more narrow Each word a pomegranate,
more a salad than something newly derailed. Teach us
how combat must happen here in our town too. For now,
I’ll imagine you alone
autodidactic as usual
cloaked in gold
not too far away in some vernacular land.
Maya, what’s at the end of this encroaching blindness?
something quiet I hope something I didn’t know
we needed to see.