“Disappearance, 26 july 1977”
Must have fallen in flight.
No matter now.
Come on, they’re waiting.
“I am looking for my wife, my children. She took all my children with her.”
I’ll secure you all, tuck you
into the fold
between these breasts.
I seep into the search after my shift.
My face a distorted stain
of sweat on the couch cushion
rimless like molten lava heaving:
“My children had no choice. They deserve a choice.”
babies curly-cued in cribs
between kneading cassava dough
into bread and
windless with the work of answers
prepare bottles, hum.
We do not wait in our need; we make math of it
then solve the equation.
“Please don’t let my children be your cash mortgage to Earth;
miss them more than the oranges of my nana’s ambrosia,”
less than the sleep between night and service.
“How Sleep Finds Us, 12 February 1977”
It is true: girls try their hand at girls and
sometimes boys. They kiss. And smell like play;
refuse water and talk when they should be
listening. Loud speakers lullaby in their frequency.
Long after this sermon you will pride
red welts, the thick impassable darkness,
complicity you hear in our silence
as preparation not punishment, as
aspiration to transparency;
our loyalty is not black, white, Asian, or nodding.
You need these reasons to stay up. Except this
I inject into your veins warm as
the oatmeal of your dream last night
(leave your indulgences there)
begging their collapse into your heart
too vigorous to accept
the path a bee takes toward its sting
is not straight; not planned.
(“Disappearance, 26 July 1977” was originally published in Scratching Against the Fabric, Eds. Stan Galloway and Timothy Wisniewski. Englewood: Unbound Content, 2015. 118 (Print), and is reprinted with permission.)
(Poet darlene anita scott is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. Her complete collection of writings and poetry for this site may be found here. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)