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02 August 2015

Literal Silhouette 
Chris Ofili, 2015 @ New Museum

Wise women made of reeds
Rushing into water well above their knees.

Women carrying children, carrying incense, carrying
Scent of themselves,
And the men in their sacks.

Women, lionesses all, who work those bales
Like thread, in and out of economies of loss.
Locusts collecting where their hair begins
Hovering for the color, sweat and scent
of women.

Woman, do you know your worth?
Are you handed a crown, or did you twist it at the shores
From your magic?
From lotus flower petals and cattails and your own crazy…
From all those tears you dropped
the river flooded
the heart paused, stopped with blood.

What was he to you,
Cat’s toy, or true love?
The sphinx rose at dawn, and lay low under the sun,
Waiting for him to slip by. She set her net
And caught him…
Lines dropped from the clouds.

Like fish they slipped through the water blind to all
But movement.
Put yourself there, and watch
The current steal your silver catch.

What was he to you, but a moment you looked
Finally into the water.
No Narcissus are you, rather wakened from blindness
To see the sun…

Hovering always, a halo of black and dark and twisted
And shining in that sun,
Yellow as white, as a night that prays for morning light,
Falling and laying and lying, and flying
Twisted as man and woman, and night
Laying down finally
Where arms are there, and softness is there,

And she can breathe.

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