I was going in the ‘86 Lincoln town car he later sold to the Czech mechanic
reading a story, “Radiators,” & taking notes on the historical statue.
I was driving in a circle to the southern illusion I found
the drawing in which she throws her back dancing
later to sex her mistermaster in the ass of red mosquito heat.
Magnolia was the scent the photo was giving off
I later realized approaching a swamp. I found some dirt to throw
in the direction of the GM factory, to the north,
A blurry shame under a dead hand by the steel mill
buried in my tongue-hide in the rush to swirl my DNA.
In working-class traffic I read a poem, “Rudiment”
observed the jungle through my temporary structure,
shamefully noted granddaddy’s resemblance to Cosby
who is now or has always been a bad man. I cower
at the snapping of my own bills. The clear way he opens to me on all fours
pedaling the romantic staircase we can now afford.
If all Black’s American, I found nothing in New Orleans but a dog chewing a bone
in a yard. A fence over flesh a shadow & a solid wall.
An erection I desired & feared was colonial, the plantation
parking lot where we are, in one year, to marry.
Into the mouth of the chiminea our uncles toss their butts.
Later I pack the coloured crate full of Congo’s near-digital field and back.
O daddy, the wheels spinning. I returned unhealthy
to what you hated about blackness:
Zoe Imani Sharpe is a poet and essayist based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Lemon Hound and Sang Bleu. Her chapbook, Sullied, was published by Trapshot Archives Press in 2011. She is currently at work on her debut collection of poetry.