NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire V. 16.1 - Page 12

By NO‘U REVILLA Cutting Flowers for the Dead I hate walking in cemeteries. Born & raised respecting the dead, I try my best to obey the narrow pathways between tombstones and burial plots. “Sorry uncle,” to the dead & commemorated man. “Sorry, aunty,” to the dead & commemorated woman. 1986-1987 my sweet child, we are so sorry. Damn. I try not to curse in cemeteries. Born & raised respecting the dead, I try my best but damn. Maybe if I kept my mouth still and let the curse erupt and finish in my throat. Maybe if I kept it in my stomach, growling. The dead forgive hunger. Or maybe, just maybe, I keep it way down, where my body buries things. Like uncle’s falsetto voice — may he rest in peace. His fat lips, his drunk wife. Screen door, hairy chest. Carpet soaked in beer the sound of no one coming to stop him. Our backs on cold tables. Gutted like fish. I hate walking in cemeteries. There’s no cutting across the dead. 10 17 October 2015