upon viewing the death of basquiat*

i look into the noise          mouth paper thin
my tongue            a scatter of forgotten belongings
extinguishes the heat of home

*once, my mother plagued a painting       swept oceanic throughout the dreams of a
  brown man in lower manhattan         three years later           she sun rose
  in california        swan dove into an oblique woman there are days i forget my name
      my name  i forget my claim    this kind of fire       that strikes black bodies into fever
  spliff        clean        cleaner, still   ain’t no mountain of needles or glass        pipes large
  enough to tow away my body       today, my mouth is a tomb      of the things people
  forget      such a power my maw, this spill wonder, this rapture of psalm      ain’t no
  way             I let the sun                      set us afire        again

More Poems by Mahogany L. Browne