the gates of mercy slammed on the right foot.
they would not permit return and bent
a wing. there was no choice but
to learn to boogaloo. those horrid days
were not without their pleasure, learning
to swear and wearing mock leather so tight
eyes bulged, a stolen puff or two
behind crack-broken backs and tickled palms
in hallways dark, flirtations during choir practice
as the body organized itself against the will
(a mystic gone ballistic, not home but blood
on the range) as one descended on this effed-up
breeding hole of greeds—to suffer chronic seeings
was’t hunger or holiness spurred the sighting?
Wanda Coleman, "American Sonnets: 91" from Mercurochrome. Copyright © 2001 by Wanda Coleman. Reprinted by permission of Black Sparrow Press (Godine).
(Black Sparrow Press, 2001)