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J Harris Jul 2015
Love was always temporary,
quick, suspect with others
but then I met you.

You taught me how to sound it out,
how to count its syllables,
how to hold my pencil and write it.

I guess now I understand
why we are still on the first letter.
J Harris Jul 2015
I have exhausted my ink, my pen, my hand.

My tongue has unlearned all languages,
all terms of endearment and soft sayings.

I am no longer flesh, no longer blood,
but have transformed myself into wind:

a wind that has traveled the oceans for you,
a wind that has discovered Africa's worth,

that has lifted me into an African skirt
where the origin of everything began.
J Harris Jul 2015
and they asked me about you.

I taught them the color of your eyes
and how to spell your name,

I taught them the importance
of August 8th and October 1st,

and reminded them about the time
that even the All-Knowing

miscalculated your worth.
J Harris Jul 2015
There was your before anything else
and then there was God. Then heaven,
the universe, and too from Him
came the sun, the moon, the planets,
the earth; the dusk, the dawn,
Adam and Eve, a succession of prophets,
and then finally me.
J Harris Jul 2015
You tip-toe out of the day
out of the Atlantic Ocean

with Africa's sun on your brown skin
with Africa's wind grazing your dark hair

and all of South America behind you.
Had North America and Europe

had enough sense
they would have followed, too.

Had they known of everything good
tucked away in your womb

then surely surely
they would have followed, too.
J Harris Jul 2015
The nightly news suggested that my clan and friends
and poetry and me gather all of our things
and evacuate the city but because my folk
are people in the margin, people in financial

strain shaped by oppression, I have - instead - loaded things
and bodies into a single caravan and am
en route to you because you are smoother and longer
and stronger, taller than the tallest road in the world.

In my mind, you have become the road; a road whose peak
is 18,000 feet, a road whose place is between
the East and West, a road whose beginning has no end
and a road whose end has no beginning - none at all.

Heavy rain. Flood water. High wind, the weatherman said.
For years, I have been compelled to take this road, to ride
its curves with finesse, to drift in a single gear for
miles, to go and go and go on the smoothest road 'round.

For years, I have been compelled to take this road, to be
elevated at 18,000 feet - yes, to be
transported closer to heaven, to be and be and
be on the longest, strongest, tallest road in the world.

En route, an elderly man asked me, Why her, young man, why
her? I shifted gears. Accelerated up a hill
of you and said, Because she has exceeded all things.
Exceeded what, young man, exceeded what? Do tell. Do.

All other roads and passageways, the labyrinth of
life, everything, sir, everything.

And how do you know we will survive along this road?
he asked.

Because no matter the point of origin, so long
as we are on the road of her, there will be fields whose
crops are plenty - always in season, brooks whose water
never recoils, and rivers of milk that do not spoils.
J Harris Jun 2015
and that's it.

Today, more than

Today, less than

and that's it.
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