for Bill Kersands
I damn near tilt from the weight of my grin.
My audiences are magpies, prim in brocade chairs. They lap me up, clapping louder than two feet chorus when I fill my mouth with billiard balls. These dimples are self-made. My face, a raspberry world wonder, my throat, shoved in amens that “negro men are a funny breed.” I’m the color of your funny bone, fed so many tom-ing praises that I can’t shut my lips. Here I am: sl-ap, a behemoth from Lovecraft’s quill. Here I go, potpourri from burnt cork and melted wax. Here I am, darker than Friday’s shadows of whiskey and fish. Years from now, dancers will drop an anvil on my ghost: they will turn their backs to the audience. Some won’t even smile because acting pleased is foul. A few will recreate my jig the pigeon wing because it’s hard scrubbing polish from underneath finger nails. There’s no point in walking upright; it will draw suspicion. But, I am change to this aristocracy of dance with a voice louder than tumbleweeds and a mouth that could swallow your hips.
I am an omen. I am a feathered resistance.