He was a small man
made to seem tall by a two button pinstripe
and a chevron tie, all in muted shades
of classic gray; bottom button undone

of course-

reclined against the polished pearl door
of a businessman's sedan, he tapped
a black Bostonian against the curb with
an impatient rhythm and his socks were

ribbed, certainly-

he drew two cards from a leather tri-fold,
passed them with manicured hands to a big man
in a cheap suit and wondered loudly what the matter
was; it was clearly not his fault

how could it be

when anyone with a good eye that happened
to be on the corner of South and Main
at the particular moment of the incident could see
that the signal was, of course it was

in his favor

and he wanted to know why yellow tape was being
strung, why photos were being taken and why weren’t
the medics allowed to bag it up, get it off the street
before it offended the ladies who lunched al fresco

after all

it was only a little nigger
that thought he could break the law, beat the light
anytime he wanted because everyone knows that they
think they own the road and besides, he would only have

grown up to be a Democrat.


Acts Of Diffusion


Half-light scatters through sundowned trees,
their leaves turned against the cusp of night.

It silvers itself across a deadfall floor,
casts long reflections from the rough surface

that reach up, sweep back in particled waves
to dust the saw palmettos like crushed glass.


Warblers throw their voices along nodding banks,
the sound spans the gaps between day and dusk.

Fog and branch catch notes full-throated in webs
of mist, scarves of bark until their range is sieved;

becomes shadow song that sifts down on winter’s chill,
a fallen silence translucent as frost on a breath.


Across the scope of night, little deaths count time
on the faces of fawn, fox, red-tipped squirrel.

The dark primeval eats its heart, follows its cycle
through copse and covert by motion, by memory;

seasons imbrue lineage in dispassionate blood,
seed their continuance on a vanishing pulse.