How Soon Before the Locusts
Thoughts & prayers my ass. Next door,
Raheem’s back on his bullshit with the oven
& the exposed gas line again & I gotta go to work
soon. It could be said that I believe in medicine
as much as the next former overdose.
When they found my father—his tub
still full of water—I was 900 miles away
with an action figure floating face-first in mine.
I guess I know time by its heavy handed delivery.
It’s cynical bell tower gong that knows I’m running
late again. I can’t believe I have to leave my bedroom
for this cold world of stares & strange dilemmas.
For undependable train lines. Is it bad to want another plague
that’ll save me from leaving my house? Sweet useful despair.
G-d, somewhere, tired of my weird requests is busy
with the clouds. They are beautiful. They are always
so beautiful. But, fuck it, where’s the fire?
and then the water spoke back
after Irene Vázquez
i be brown just like you
though i shouldn’t be
dripping from this leaky faucet
i’m a puddle that’s been stepped in
and stared at
reflections being the only way
not to drown in me
and somewhere far away
i’m a fresh body spilling
from a spring
cupped into fidgety palms
drink me cold
drink me from the river that feels like home
because dysentery is a thing
and yes, i am a river too
and an ocean
guiding you to land you’ve never met before
and i guess, not so far away from that
i’m two fingers
pinching the coast of what you call a country
i’m a flood somewhere that’s been forgotten
by that country
i’m a whole entire world around a goldfish
and it’s summer, always,
at a beach where people love me
where i’m wave after wave after loving
and i’m salt in the eyes of a child that’s there
and i’m sorry for the burn
and i’m bottled in plastic that’s labeled
obviously do not drink me
and there’s another bottle,
floating on top of me
with a message tucked inside
i don’t know if it’ll ever be read
i don’t know what will come after this moment
before anything at all
i was rain
Dante Clark (he/him) is a writer from the Bronx, A two-time Pushcart nominee, his work has been featured in The Root, Afropunk, wildness, Brooklyn Poets’ Poet of the Week, The Slowdown, Adroit Journal, and elsewhere.