My God Brother, My God
If he looks like a quack
or quacks like a duck,
then the dog in him must be dug
deep down inside. My god
father’s name was Doug.
He had two sons who were thugs,
standing on the block
selling you know what, quacked
like ducks when the pigs sniffed
brother’s nickname was Chicago.
He shot a man or two
or took the rap is the truth.
Then he really killed
once behind bars. Who can blame him
when cornered? The courts can.
He wouldn’t rat even though
they wanted him to quack,
yes sing like a bird.
He didn’t look like a duck
and he didn’t peep,
my god brother, my God.
At Jungno-Sam-Ga Station
Want to grow poor with you.
Sit in front of storefronts with you.
Could walk to the well each day
and fill empty vessels.
To be at the minimum level of income
Impossible to achieve an adequate
standard of living.
A dollar and eight cents between us.
Let's draw attention with our
draw their pity, disgust and
Want you to sleep
on my shoulder on the trolley.
Want to wear the same cardigan and
corduroys every day.
Go umbrella-less in a Spring snow,
rummage, busk, pick, starve,
be emaciated with you.
My poverty seems inevitable these
thus if I must be poor,
let me be poor while holding your
Bones in a wedding dress!
Bare bones in a wedding dress!
By the time we make it
to the alter, we'll be bare bones.
At the reception, we'll shake
our femurs to R. Kelly,
our hips to "Celebrate Good
And that night as you disrobe
leaving nothing left but bare bones,
we might get our tendons tangled,
pelvic against pelvic
sending SOS to whom it may concern.
Kissing your breast plate,
sucking your spinal fluid—
our silhouettes look like Japanese
Yes our bare bones brushstroke,
make the perfect calligraphy.
To share a baby-blue blanket with
To make paper hats from newspaper
To catch snowflakes on our tongues
and eyelashes. To be as light as a
wafting in the air. To be poor.
Derold Sligh received an MFA from San Diego State University. His
collection of poems titled, American
Still Life, was published in 2010 by Pudding House Press. He has taught creative writing workshops for
San Diego State University, Gear Up and King/Chavez/Parks and was also
a guest poet at the Theodore Roethke Memorial where he ran a workshop
for African American fathers and sons.
Archived at http://lit.konundrum.com/poetry/slighd_poems.php
Copyright respective authors
and Konundrum Engine