poem #8 ~ shovel poem

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra” ~

with apologies to Ishmael Reed[1]


My literary lovers aren’t like me. It is not my choice that I

Follow the tracks of black men, gay men, dead veterans. But who I am

Is all of these men I never was and never will be. Somehow, a

Bridge connects each of them to me, each of us to one another. Cowboys

To angry Indians, men betrayed by women to this woman, who in

Her journey out of darkness watches for the light thrown by the

Men who live there, on the margins, floating down the river in a boat

With words for a rudder. Made homeless by other men always white men of

My own kind, my father told me. But the ancient god speaks, and Ra

Who created everything & everyone, even the white sidewinders,

Reminds me: all pools reflect light. Looking at light is looking in

Into the darkness within us. Each of my lovers has mapped the

Alleys, hairpin curves, and switchbacks of roads like old saloons

Set up to carry us away from bridges, away from all of

Light’s illumination. Not to follow is to submit to fools.

Not to follow is to submit.



[1] https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/i-am-cowboy-boat-ra

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