NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 144

poetry The Settler Men There They Walk No Moses Children lay bloated on their backs in daffodil’s squalor clutching gargoyles. Sobbing laity flagellants tithe copper pennies before they are hurled into the grisly pyre of uselessness. Priests pray for them in robes sewn with veins too small for blood to pass through. History chooses its witnesses randomly: They saw dogs lapping phlegm, nudging skulls, sniffing cartilage hanging limply from trees. The settler men’s wives giving birth to the captains approaching in ships — feint impressions in night’s smokestack chimney. Stars become flecks of soot; these men, flurried locusts, pillaging until morning’s gray oblique dawn cast shadows on bare frenzied feet running through soapy blood scum willowing blades of severed grass. The train passes a factory sitting squat and still. Rust, wires, elbow steel, rebar, dark gray stone. Huge broken windows. Railroad capillaries. Dripping water dredge rusty pools birds peck at and leapfrog. Shadows of stoic, hunchbacked faces eating from scrap metal lunchboxes. Thick nicked hands grind metal, slit the throats of chickens. Boot blackened walkways. 1. New minions sleep offshore in bunk beds. Leap to their deaths suffering from dementia, overwork, loneliness. Machines bludgeon silence. Sunlight warning leaves of winter’s audacious gait barely streams through concrete slits where darting pupils stare down at machines assembling things we want while laughing at home driving down the highway playing with our children. Walk past broken glass. Cacophonous dupes holding American flags. Lepers with styrofoam skin. The conclave nothingness of slums. Scum-people living in hallways always painted black. Sirens. Matisse yellow chalk-circled bodies. Lottery Ticket Man sitting on abandoned steps sipping cancerous water; sometimes stagnant runoff rain. We laugh at what we do not see. Ignore civilization’s history of looming fabrics with mitered corners machine mavens cannot afford and die in fires producing. Sacrificed since the Day of One by all nations, kingdoms, and civilizations. Its steel, its stone, reminds us what men and women do with their own hands to feed barbarism on these shores while pinning star spangled banners on clotheslines. Now this anthem can be overheard offshore under the pattered downpour of rain as agony’s managers go back to work. Souls pray for these men somewhere. There is no map of somewhere, roads leading away from the sycophants delusional praise dancing between wooden pews. Away from flailing arms fluted-sleeves hiding needle marks. Death. Freedom’s secular prophets resonantly rejected, what more can be said to the dead? What more? 4. Black men walk naked in hurri ɭ)݅э̰͍́͡ݱх̰ɐݥи)Qոѕ̸)5ɹéЁͥ́ѕɹ) 镹ݥ́ɍݕ́)Q݅Ѽѡ) ͔ѡ́ѡ(ȸ(̸)Q݅5͕)ɥ́她ѡٕ)ɥ́啐ɽ́ѡȁ)ѡȁѡȁ݅䁙ɽѣé)Ʌ䁡ѽ̸) )!!ͅ