This week, a poem by Jarrett Neal.

 

PAPPY

 

This cup is yours: white mottled blue clay, chipped   

Lip, handle so large a sparrow could fly straight   

Through to Sinai.  In the dreams that edge   

My midnights and daybreaks you still sit in your   

Porch chair, King James on your lap, drinking hell       

Fire coffee, black and so unforgiving it could scorch the dead   

Out of heaven.  If I can manage a letter or a telegram,   

A lyric of gospel or even a whisper of Leviticusthat nasty spit   

Of tobacco twisting my gutcan I curl the blizzard in your beard,   

Play harmonica while you flex your voice for every god   

Listening in the corners of nature and lick of lantern’s flame?   

Can I tuck and roll from the boxcar and shelter beside you,   

Sop up your legends and rumors of storms?

——

JARRETT NEAL‘s prose and poetry have appeared in Chelsea Station, The Good Men Project, The Gay and Lesbian Review and the Lammy Award-nominated anthologies For Colored Boys and Black Gay Genius. His first book, What Color Is Your Hoodie?: Essays on Black Gay Identity, will be published by Chelsea Station in summer 2015. He lives in Oak Park, IL.



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