after Lucille Clifton
I began like you. With what I was given,
a mama, a third, a daddy, and a little brother
I love like a corner piece of heaven.
We were a poor people given nothing,
we had to earn our life like we wanted our life.
I knew my mama’s voice through all the other mama’s voices.
I knew my little brother’s lying
like I knew our father’s lying,
same song, higher key.
I am alive living near some graves
I share the last night with
Death will make a space for you
there’s love in that.
I’ve asked my dead for forgiveness before the moon touches us
and make what I say true.
I want to walk into my very own home. I am a black bell ringing
into a void I truly fear.