Harris (2)

Duriel E. Harris

Seven Poems

Of Thee I Sing

                                                            By this pact we agree to live in the child’s skin

I awaken from the dream that you are my father
To find your favorite thing holding its breath above my head.
It is an extension of you in a way I cannot be
And you want me to love it as proof.
It is curved purple with tricks:

See the way it moves by itself? you say
No hands! See what it can do?

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

to choose the cock, to pronounce it
(to augment the mouth’s labor)

to admit the queer protrusion, the lift
(your curiosity, a row of teeth—
force, there, too, just beneath the tongue)

to welcome the blood rigor, the stiffening tug
steady gaping, to bend into it
(and someone watching—always someone watches—
           who unbridles the tongue, massages the lips

                         moistens the fleshy jaw)

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

from speleology

She was speaking; someone told me so.
She was speaking; I heard it myself.
She was speaking: air forced itself through walls.

I have some living things.  I have some things of indefinite shape.  I have some liquid.  I
have some flexible things.  I have some skin of an animal still on the living animal.
I have some skin of an animal off the animal.  I have a head still in use.  I have a head
off the body.

They are laid there by others.

The tarpaulin covering her body flapped at the feet and fingertips.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

from speleology

Awakened alongside shadows, broken light papers the corridor
as memory and dream pass through one another then shrink into fasting.
Transfixed, amputated in the glare, I am a ghost in my own memory.
Ahead, at the unraveling, bone waxed baskets bark woven sacks
and the blown glass sheen of a woman’s name inhales.
All I cannot unmake, crowds sweating, misshapen at my back.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

from speleology

pulling up into  |  the attic crawlspace  |  the carapace.    |  The mind saw’s hum-  |
wet metal, circling  |  grazing, peripatetic   |  upon dermis fat tissue:  |  a solitary body’s  |
sudden doorframe pose.

A body:  |        a trick              a knot,               a dare.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

The Ascended Black
for Condoleezza Rice

And it’s hard to feel sorry for her because she’s so public: stoic preceding the even kick:
fingering the pimply ball, selecting a handful of shiny words from his stinking mouth.
Like an executive out for a run, this ascended black tours the wishes of water-fallen
niggers with feigned disinterest.  Good luck.  Now move along, senators!  she prods,
chuckling.  A phantom bladder represses her urge to kick again.  The lone park bench and
scratch-off cards are real.  As is the vitamin rich urine trickling down her leg.

The secretarial penis is like a camera: it touches everything and its single eye weeps

Up from.  Unshuttered to quell the boisterous rising.  She is diligent, persistent, a burning
bush.  She labors.  Her belly rippling musculature.  Her hands, a sphincter releasing
tension into the air.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

self portrait in relief

Gilded, the jaw forgets
fracture at the pointer’s tip
(red jaw, forgotten rings
inadvertent discord, picked up,
thrown into anger).  To say
I feel like breaking something
and lucky find: a human face
within reach.  Dallying, puffy,
deliberately adult, winter splotchy.
The pink sound of them together
fist and jaw: civil, cordial.
The face asking, pucker?
The hand brass, ablush.
From the flat pairing,
one accord, injury:
cozy, warm.

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