Outside the Path of Totality

I never knew my hands were cameras,
Their tiny spaces human
Pinholes of Renaissance technology and dreams,
Projecting what is upside down
To trace the world’s lines.

Unable to look up,
I filter bitten sun through fingers.

How did we get here? This point
Where men no longer fear
Gods will steal the day forever for our hate,
Marching through streets with torches,
Effigies of burning crosses, effigies
Of black bodies flaming in leaves.

Even the leaves of lynch trees
Become apertures.
How dare you strive to turn the oak
Against the sun?

Countless crescent suns
Shimmer in astonishing shadows at our feet.

Black feet of the man I love—
Warped with work and callouses,
Black feet I have rubbed with oil,
Touched with lips, toenails like moons,
Their clippings, eclipsed suns—
Walk this earth.

That day in a pause at work,
He took a photo of tree shadows
To give me all the smiling suns,
Sent it through air to me
Taking the same picture to send to him
In the pause of my own day,
Nudging students to care, to see,
To say something.

How dare you strive to turn the trees
Against this love?
We cannot be obscured.
Our eyes are moons and suns at once.
Arms wrap around each other’s sore backs,
Black hands warm on white skin,
White hands warm on black,
Who is eclipsing whom? No one.

We are love, unstoppable phenomena.

One student called it awesome and awful.
We have no control of it. Heatless light.
Another called it midday dusk and dawn.

Take off your cardboard glasses.
Drop your eyes to earth.
Bless light filtering trees.
Look through your own hands
And weep.

2017

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