Atlanta Cyclorama

Variously lobed sassafras fingers enveloped
then parted and elevated to piney heights,
the magnolia petal stroked the upper lip 
where the angels had hushed up the babes

And they plopped us onto a lazy susan, spun 
round inside the scraped out skull, to hear
sacrificial states to the tune of a thousand
plantation high holy days and horrors

Infants gyrating inside an heirloom that had
lost its provenance, dragging loosened chains
unshackled a thousand miles or more, spun
centrifugal til faces separated from heads

Smacked up against the painting, we was
born ruins before learning how to tie shoes,
and we was whooped by your parents for
not smiling in photos as they had in 1953.

Let’s go back to the woods, to the sassafras 
hands, to feel the cool waxy fragrance of
magnolia against the invisible hairs on our
cheeks. To piney height angels. Quietly, now.


    1. You’re too kind! Yeah, it probably never really was there at all. I’m idealizing a childhood which we never had, never could have had. But I’m still going to look forward to its arrival, someday.


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