Miscegenation Elegy


after Jericho Brown


Let’s talk through my window, what it has to do with God.

The stars also suffer. Immense and dead, their gasses burn 

distant like castanets of antebellum teeth. My open window 

a synecdoche of country. No matter how much smoke a pig 

roast won’t erupt into a song. How its head won’t find more 

careful music than this apple in my mouth. Pardon his sex, 

this apple erupts into violets. Historians archive our care

as an axe upon a ladybird. Air now through my window, 

what it has to do with Edith strolling away from me. You

see, I implant now not only a grandmother but a garden in

your tasteless heart. With just that name and its slant rhyme 

“Eden”, you hear “Gaia”. Have you heard a person bloom? 

In that garden, Edith’s lips hymn. Skyline maintains its mar.

The poem required sound from a body. The poem required 

meter heard by those trees. I gift a woman’s voice bottled  

so cleanly for you. Salt it. And coo admiringly with tongue. 

There were other names: Sogolon, Madhavi, ubume. Leda. 

Ariel. Hierarchy in how I love? Not violets, no— implant 

an ending: known for representing purity, white flowers are 

a neutral tone that accents any color. Camelia. Wisteria. Lust.

Tawanda Mulalu