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.