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Jackson 23 Gale Jackson so there is no poetry in these nites. for the children of soweto. i do not speak this language but another fluent as hieroglyph filled with click and bop and guttural sounds i do not overstand these runnins .... bantu education group areas act influx control displacing surrounding intervening so afrikaners, so apartheid, moves my people. i do not speak this language i cry bullets so young, warriors, they bleed hippos tore them down on street corners in school uniform so these children on the frontline and even as the fast run and the strong walk away beyond the shootings these bars grate against voice like glass grinding on chalkboard the tear gas and the sirens and the flashing orange lites threaten to drive them insane and they bleed chanting so to speak in their own language. . . . ghetto township redline dispossess gentrify 24 the minnesota review break break break word. . not this language but another these runnins the question glances of children the rumblins of empty stop the word the appetite for nitewalks or freedom fighters what you know of the force the power of the spoken the scratch the beat they they would kill you for ritual knowledge of the real deal. so speak to me so in my country in i language in i woman in i heart so speak to me. . word. . the kids cry in new york city in soweto graffitti me so so speak. so there is no poetry in these nites cept the writing on walls, so they tough but babies, they bleed, policemen hunt them in brooklyn in cieski in soweto torn down on street corners and even as the fast run and the strong walk away gunfire bars grate against expression policemen hunt them grate tear gas. chalkboards, school uniforms, sirens rushing thru my city where liberation is the writing their words their writing tag on the walls. Jackson 25 Gale Jackson at the crossroads beirut divided unto itself east from west and if they come by sea grenades explode in grotesque shadows on homemade curtains and shouts of shrapnel burst in the eye of children's dreams. the one who sings meets me in the lamplite city nite a stump where her arm was a reflection of a woman's reflection a siren of mirrors her strength century upon century upon centuries beneath her chador a stump where her arm was she says she will not leave here again. the one who sings meets me in the dream of a sleeping city veiled her steps muted in modesty around us bullet holes line the walls and militias battle for surer ground while mothers run pell meli thru the street 26 the minnesota review bearing their possessions their crying children. so much a memory of constant expulsion nitely bombing hushing the children the one who sings meets me her palms rough as stone paved roads we walk and pigeons fly from our footsteps in the dream as over the flaming roofs of lebanon stone doves can find no safe place to lite and airborne echo our chaos. so much a memory constant expulsion and deaths smell and screaming and silence her steps muted arms olive branch gesture and sandy reaches surround her shore to her own shore not metaphor shore to her own shore Palestine. and the woman waits for the modern prophet to breathe water unto the flaming roof tops to quench the thirst and turn camps of refugees into new cities promised. Jackson 27 and the woman waits in the lamplite city walks in the dreams of sleep and the faces of earth born children blind or torn by the shrapnel in the eye in the rubble in the city whence may come a prophet a memory constant century upon century upon century for the city for a people a memory constant in flames. 28 the minnesota review Gale Jackson deepwater for sarĂ  "i jumped in the water and started to drown but when i saw you i just couldn't go down" "deepwater" can take you out she said some people can't help but drown in it. this is a poem for sarĂ  who said...


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