by Major Jackson

For I was born, too, in the stunted winter of History.
For I, too, desired the Lion’s mouth split
& the world that is not ours, and the wounded children
Set free to their turnstiles of wonder. I, too, have
Blinked speechless at the valleys of corpses, wished
Scriabin’s “Black Mass” in the Executioner’s ear,
Ellington in the Interrogation Room.
I seek now gardens where bodies have their will,
Where the self is a compass point given to the lost.
Let me call your name; the ground here is soft & broken.

Published on July 1, 2020

First published in Harvard Review 33