Two Poems by Morgan Parker
Funeral for The Black Dog
For the time Beyoncé left Kelly and Michelle
and I left the earth. You came to the greenly
dusted world in my place. You settled in
like a raft of fire ants under the Honey Moon.
For the walls that turned black
with cooked meals and tantrums dear
Morgan, cool out. What do you have to mourn?
In the future it is frigid every day and when
I am awake I deny you like Peter before dawn.
Christ. More than ever I feel
accidental. Your shame swelling in my limbs.
Chamomile and lemon and my mother
cradled you like an infant in a car seat,
patted your stomach until you could sleep said
Baby, imagine but you didn’t listen.
Poor Michelle and drawers full of butterflies
and forgotten hash. For the house you built
around your body with broad leaves.
For the men you fucked and swallowed
and fucked and prayed over. You dressed up
in their muscles. For how you are always
still thirsty. For your vision of kingdom.
For great-greats in the croplands and what
their thighs have witnessed. For what chases
us to hiding, steeps us in glass-blown cups.
For the ribs I cracked open for you
to spread yourself up to my clavicle. Your
takeover like a potted plant flooding the room.
For fifteen. For eighteen. For nineteen, twenty-two.
For this hood offering to remember pain
but never to lie down next to it. It is getting late.
Let me fucking mourn me. I’m sorry.
For the diamonds that didn’t shake loose.
As my final feminist act
I want to make you my husband.
I want to get rich
and be a kind of Oprah.
You know how white people
are so leisurely: that
will be us. Our days in
a king-sized bed with all
our friends, strong cider,
strong pot, fireworks, fireworks.
I want to know you know
I’m in charge.
I want to build a reef for us
and fill it with arrows.
My nerves will break in half.
I’ll be the kind of whole
girl who drags her hooves on soft
grass, breathes when she’s full.
MORGAN PARKER is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in numerous publications, and anthologized in Why I Am Not A Painter (Argos Books) and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books). Morgan is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a Cave Canem graduate fellow.