In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Yo’ Mama

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Daddy makes you dance still though brittle bones merely shake not shimmy.

When you were full bloom and wider than the sprig crouch you are now,

you could swivel your hips light on your feet and in sync with the song.

I didn’t inherit your body’s rhythm but I followed the beat of your words,

those words, shiny and adored, I could tell from the way you caressed them

pouring sweet-tongued in pristine ears framing fresh faces of your charges.

And while sparks sizzle out in your eyes cycling the dead grey matter zones

the heat of your humor and the glee of ironic days are frozen inside your skin,

a dead pan face with little recognition and remembrance of those words sharp,

flying shot gun but pinpoint targeted to prick, tickle and touch those of the world,

not the one you inhabit now, some filmy inchoate plane from once you lifted us,

your children whose words now breathe yours in silent days of stiff witness past.

A silent language heard timelessly is a nurturer’s toil and care, archetypal love

coating countless centuries streaming through bodies perpetuating in birth.

Ripped and rattled, torn and repaired, spited and sorrowed, she reawakens

each day renewed from sleep of the dead spirited with ancestral compulsion

and primal tenderness of urgency, survival, the burden of her species’ thruway.

And when she has been sucked dry of her duty, she sinks in immortal cliché.

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