For the livers and lasagna, the tomatoes planted
in broken concrete backyard plots in spring,
when Havana's tropicals and flamingo heat
migrated toward our own city summer,
for Jersey beans loving 9th Street's market sun
where women frowned and men sold glory,
and August's soggy long summer skies boomed
and purpled before rain fell on our heads
like an end of time, for artichoke points and plums,
for watermelon hissing back at this blade
that once turned its other cheek to day-old
brick-oven bread, your fine uneven edges
faintly silvered once I diamond-steel
their grinded, used-up years of rust and gray …
Be ready for my needs, to do the work you know,
to answer hunger at odd times like these,
around midnight, or six hours later, the cantaloupe
or breakfast crust, then lunchtime's cold cuts,
dinner's cutlets, scunions, beets, you knives
and silver dollars and unlikely crystal flutes …
the precious few things, except for their lives,
that I saved from the house of the dead,
where they argued, flashed you like batons
at their enemy, themselves, before or after food,
be ready for whatever waits in half-dark now,
for telltale chance, or fatal cherishing.
TODAY IN SLATE
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.