THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, SIR
Why are our ancestors
always kings and princes
and never the common people?
-Dudley Randall, b. 1914, "Ancestors"
I come from between the thighs of common
women who wield mute vacuums that inhale
light-bodied hummingbirds, which sup on frail
blossoms of dew-white, Virginian flowers
-like fiends to cocaine.
I wish I could lie for you, creating
some mythological herstory of
ebon Cleopatra's and Bathsheba's
who discover themselves in each other
-like water in rain.
But in the frenzied still of a fitful
night, as I trace and thump collapsing veins,
I know I will return to the blandness
of opiate blooms, seeking rapture
-a peasant estranged.