BLACK TRAIN CREEPS THROUGH APARTHEID DETROIT
after Guillermo Gomez-Pena
I read Mind Breaths in Metro airport, ordinary April human transport
Sunday petrodreams, Allen Ginsberg dead one year today.
Desolate transparent grandmother with astonishing heavy suitcase nods.
Sleepwalker with a silver-plated trumpet checks his two-faced watch
as little child steps out of her tan flats holding black-skinned dolls
smiling indomitable Buddha-eyed as the seven foot giant in bright purple
suit perspiring as he eats rice-pudding, his yellow roses wrapped in
Couples with Greek crimson egg'd Easter breads cradled under their arms rush
past the shiny candy apples & wedding photos in casinos.
The drop-outs write their liturgical against apartheid tenement-occupied
Detroit funeral train blue walls, Harmonie Park.
I forgot Todd was struck by lightning until a child's black cowboy boots float to
the surface of a soupy shopping cart ditch.
Millions of plainclothesmen handcuff the poor in streets filled with geraniums
& electric guitars & children with guns in their diapers memorizing the sun's
rays shooting in like a sweat lodge 12 miles from heaven.
There's the unacceptability of injustice--the young Muslim selling lemons
outside the courthouse, red noisy shoes, cry of gulls, zebra-suited K-Mart
Apollo, unmarked cars, drunks in elevators weeping for Dorothy Day.
The twilight moves like a girl putting on a stolen leather coat from a hanger
made of blood & olives.
The rain soaked ceiling tiles break against the waves of selves in a new hip
language like a deer leaping on a bed of starlings outside global surveillance,
Russian Mars 1996 space probe crash in Bolivia & the burning of American
nerve gas stockpiles behind green doors.
I tell myself there was room for you to change my life, that beauty such as yours
I paint my eyelids black for peace & literature, say goodbye to Duran Duran,
grandfather's heavy chemistry books, Panama, Danny's unfinished novel,
Texarkansas, Georgia O'Keefe, current US immigration policy, punk rockeros
And of the declining significance of race, I confess to you here my desire for a
5-6 April 98