On Hearing that Michael Jackson Died © 蔚雅風

Sciatica is three blocks away, left and across
from the stinky tofu stand, where I meet the nunsvacant alleyway
at night so we can bow and whisper Buddha bless us,
women gossiping in the park, the cars so quiet
we look behind us to keep from getting hit
by the motorcycles coming, lone riders torn off
from the great swarm, we remember the dance
of stillness, the drivers weaving around us,
the night moist, girlfriends on the back in heels,
keeping the secret of not moving the mind,
my umbrella in the stand at the Buddhist veggie
eatery, I learn to understand the price of things,
put the coins in the proper bowl, the silence
of the rain a thing we hope for when the heat is
hotter than fire, the heat a world come into ours
from another moon for a distant planet, light years
and wishes over the edge of the mountains here
in the dragon’s belly where every child is a genius
who will grow and add to the world in a way
that does not hurt.  Hobbling back when this
fundamental nerve hits, back to the eighth floor,
my giant windows looking to the giant windows
of neighbors, I catch my breath, pat the legs
that have made me know a greater humility, how
I have taken them for granted, not even been so kind
as to ask them to show me how to begin on the toes
and slip backward up into the heel over in grace
over the only moon we can ever know is ours.

Afaa Michael WeaverAfaa Michael Weaver is a poet, writer and lecturer.  His latest work “The Government of Nature” is out this month.

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