A daily poem #184 – April 19, 2010

A poem
by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Shahid Reads His Own Palm

I come from the cracked hands of men who used
the smoldering ends of blunts to blow shotguns,

men who arranged their lives around the mystery
of the moon breaking a street corner in half.

I come from “Swann Road” written in a child’s
slanted block letters across a playground fence,

the orange globe with black stripes in Bishop’s left
hand, untethered and rolling to the sideline,

a crowd openmouthed, waiting to see the end
of the sweetest crossover in a Virginia state pen.

I come from Friday night’s humid and musty air,
Junk Yard Band cranking in a stolen Bonneville,

a tilted bottle of Wild Irish Rose against my lips
and King Hedley’s secret written in the lines of my palm.

I come from beneath a cloud of white smoke, a lit pipe
and the way glass heats rocks into a piece of heaven,

from the weight of nothing in my palm,
a bullet in an unfired snub-nosed revolver.

And every day the small muscles in my finger threaten to pull
a trigger, slight and curved like my woman’s eyelashes.

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~ by Chris Hibbard on April 19, 2010.

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