Apology and the Quest for Learning
as your daddy who dies
painfully and resurrects every night
with love for you/ momma and me, I’m
sorry I say to the midnight while you sleep.
alone in parenthood angst. you annoyed
the fuck out of me
while I was doing God’s work, I tell myself
without conviction. my ego bamboozled
run amuck cast astray full of holy pretense
and addiction. you ignored and launched
silent rebellion punishable by death
in these lands for a Black man.
which brings to mind spanking
was survival code lynch prevention
back in the day where your lapse,
slightest reckless eyeballing slip,
provoked castrated body to burn
before lynch-awed evangelical crowd
in full worship and cravings for flesh relics.
so I’m sorry and someday when you in my shoes
you’ll feel the magnitude. or maybe gratitude
of civil war at long last won. perhaps then
we’ll beat guns into plowshares, study love
and put belts in pants. for now I’m sorry,
I whisper to your sleeping head, that told me
you were sick. I could see it
just ambiguously enough to be blind.
I quelled your rebellion with slave tactics.
tapped that little ass with the belt one little tap
on the rear absent malice. still your little face
I die for,
slurred with tears hurt deeper than skin.
shit now feels harsh to me as to you.
I did it, I’m dying, but never again.