If I should die before I wake,
my soul is up for grabs--
that Green Room of my childhood
prepared me for nothing.
A prayer leads me through
dream hallways like throats,
dark and self-lubricating. The voice
before the swallow, the belly grumbles
while we pray, the need never seems
to leave. God bless the daddy
of all-white children, those he terrorized
and the one he did not.
Daddy, bless the children with
all-white children. His love unbent
like a coat-hanger snaking
through dark sensibility, snagging
anything foreign. If I should die
before this yearning breaks, a flood
around my feet....God bless the mommy and the daughter,
the great-grandchildren, cinnamon and small;
fragile prayer of something better than great-grandpa’s
hate for the fragment of his population, dear daddy-god,
that he won’t reclaim. Bless God, I will not wait.