Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Confluence by Yusef Komunyakaa


I’ve been here before, dreaming myself 
backwards, among grappling hooks of light. 

True to the seasons, I’ve lived every word 
spoken. Did I walk into someone’s nightmare? 

Hunger quivers on a fleshly string 
at the crossroad. So deep is the lore, 

there’s only tomorrow today where darkness 
splinters & wounds the bird of paradise. 

On paths that plunge into primordial 
green, Echo’s laughter finds us together. 

In the sweatshops of desire men think 
if they don’t die the moon won’t rise. 

All the dead-end streets run into one 
moment of bliss & sleight of hand. 

Beside the Euphrates, past the Tigris, 
up the Mississippi. Bloodline & clockwork. 

The X drawn where we stand. Trains 
follow rivers that curve around us. 

The distant night opens like a pearl 
fan, a skirt, a heart, a drop of salt. 

When we embrace, we are not an island 
beyond fables & the blue exhaust of commerce. 

When the sounds of River Styx punish 
trees, my effigy speaks to the night owl. 

Our voices break open the pink magnolia 
where struggle is home to the beast in us. 

All the senses tuned for the Hawkesbury, 
labyrinths turning into lowland fog. 

Hand in hand, feeling good, we walk 
phantoms from the floating machine. 

When a drowning man calls out, 
his voice follows him downstream.

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