What Jimmy Taught Me

To be born yellow into a household where the black man rules with his fists  and the white
wife  body   livid   with      devotion         hip enough to confuse  trouble
with   love    or   whatever   it  was, such the  lucky  one   to come up so
unamerican   ,   thankful  one   in whose imagination the  country danger is   so ambient 
and precise  of   source   it vanishes    and with each departure  more
affectionate    machines   panting   to run the dream between  hope    and  habit  

I wanted to say this more clearly         In what ways  did   watching  your black father beat your
white mother   empower   you   as a brown   baby   ?   in  a blue    way      is  there
anything   so  cruel   so    crude    as  to say   you felt   each   of your hands   in
their  puppet   throats   as they screamed   for
help   in   unison   but  only    one  was   hunted  for   room   within the invisible  listener   Only
one  could  pray  that      far   

I wanted to say this more clearly       trustless of a soul  who hadn’t   suffered  he
tore  hers  toward him

 And I arrived as a kind of vengeance, the many versions of war worn raw by their sex, come to
be as the treacherous peace of empty pacts    and broken  chessmen were scattered all over the

              It’s like being the last person alive

More Poems by Harmony Holiday