Two poems from Indigo Moor

Hummingbird’s Clothing
I am all wing and hollowed bone
strung together with frayed nerves.
No, I am not darting aimlessly—
my job, thankless, is to connect
your backyard’s invisible braille,
while tilting, drunk on scarlet nectar.

Lean close to hear my buzzing
revelation: I am an Anger God!
Praying for a brawl, a brother
to fly too close and reveal me:
King of the low-hung sky! Each
wingbeat jackhammers the day
into submission as the sweet breath
detonates on my savage tongue!

—Indigo Moor

Mississippi Barbecue
“Postcard #80” from Without Sanctuary exhibit

Sliced away and soaking
                in jars, the sweet parts:
                        genitals saved
                for luck and souvenirs.

The Negro ablaze, back
arched as if in ecstasy.

Having lingered
                once too long
on a white woman’s face

he is reclined,
                bullet-ridden, languid
on the blistering pyre.

Centered in the tableau
still life posed for
the cameraman’s steady eye.

Twice, the magnesium
flash sparks
through the dapper crowd:

two score fedora & bonnet
crowned heads
lean into sight line.
                and bloodlust crawl
through the eyes.

Later, there’s potato
salad & sweet cold tea.

Soaked in blood, soaked
                in piss, the hunting sack
crumpled into itself
at fire’s edge, smolders.

Rumor is the postcards
will be a dollar.

The body
now chalking toward pristine
is left to the children

lipless, its grin
crackling in tinder.

The sheriff’s
                youngest boy
                rattles a cane ’round
the ribcage ’til it caves
                like a miner’s tomb.

A fiery halo
blossoms on the chin.
Bits of charred
                        flesh flake away
                        float lazily
on the night breeze.

Flame-struck and
the pastor
                sucks absently

a rib bone, prays
                the children understand
the need
                for cleansing.

—for Kwame Dawes

—Indigo Moor