After Hanif Willis Abdurraqib
I get confused if I’m not underground,
lost in the turmoil of sanity centered balance.
Tranced in the known of what everyone knows,
and I know.
Life touches us in subjective forms,
unknown to our best friends and lovers and mothers.
I stand between Ebenezer place and Rundle Street
And the man wheeling a push bike
and his cart of cans and bottles asks me for change,
And I respond by saying something
I might say in a poem. “Change only comes from the inside”
And he says “no”
And I say
“If I had any change within my pockets
would it mean more to the world around me?”
And I look at the dismal sky evolving into a black decay of spacious sanity.
and I am in the basement of my mind’s den.
where reality and fantasy co-exist.
and dreams are not just dreams and the man asks me what I see and I say
“A world where anything is possible”
And the sky turns dark,
Dark enough to fit my imagination for change
And I see everyone I’ve ever missed or longed for in the grey clouds
ashing over the specs of light, refining the hope I’d have to see them…
And I see him walking off, looking for change, bothering other people…
And I know,
That even he will see a sky lit up with loved ones.
That always makes us believe we are not alone
As if that is a mirage society and history painted together,
To make us believe in the remnants of dreams,
To make us think the work we do here will not easily be undone
And I look up to the sky and there are no clouds left
And I wonder where the ones I long for are dreaming
My uncle who raised me like a father
The girl I loved for years that never gasps or says anything to me
Or the father I never had
Is he watching down on me
Waiting for me to fill shoes he never stepped in
And the lights fickle out
And I see Jimmy
I remember his name and every time we’ve crossed paths
And he comes back to me pushing his bike with his cart of cans
And I want to ask him to look up to the sky, I want to know if he can see it
And he comes up to me,
And he asks me…
“Do you have any change?”