Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cornrows

Cornrows, braids,
close-written texts rising from the scalp;

cuneiform hair gleaming on the wet clay
of a Sumerian morning:

weeping, weeping, long ago.
Did you ask, were you told,

why your fathers took spear and shield
and walked away with the dust between their toes,

and their soles already cracking?
It was the long tallies in clay,

bushels of grain owed and not delivered,
and now woven into your hair as the debt

of your skin and your people:
justice must be served, they say.

The counting of coup will never end,
and the doves are shot with the olive in their mouths.

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