Over many years, I have dreamed away my color and turned inside out, like the wet machinery of an orange. I’m all yard; the sycamores are my likeness. Their leaves list like sleeping bats. Hose in hand, I drink as water pours down my Easter dress. Jesus bled to death in front of a crowd just like this: neighborhood white kids with their swollen tongues, their throat cords already phosphorus. Why do they call me nigger when I am half like them? Ask questions and see answers everywhere. The shade sings. The tree’s roots claw seaward; it sheds bark in great white sheets. My fingers molt hawk claws. An eye on every feather.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.