How charming. He confesses,
world prize in frigid hands,
the absurdity of his position,
dispensing reimagined gospels to his father's kin.
In Berlin. How charming. In Berlin.
The dearth of irony. The crosshatched aesthetic
poisoned his blood. The pathos of platitudes
and purchased betrayals.
How charming. The smoldering kitchen.
There his mother counts for nobody.
Only his father's class and color,
only his father's law and reason,
only his father's fatal finger
can trace the religion of his face.
How charming to relic and tribe ignorance.
Middle passage flesh, skin lampshades,
amputated foot, whip-branded back----
never existed, though they can.
How charming. Denial informs
his flaring nostrils, his tattooed lips.
How charming. Now the banal melodies.
Forget. Oblivion. Forgive. Oblivion.
Justify. Oblivion. Canonize. Oblivion.
How charming to abstain from charm.
Optimism does no harm.
Death begs the sparrow to let his people go.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr.
January 27, 2017