[32] Races, Stephen Mead


A blurring I’d prefer, everyone mixed

or pigmentation changing with moods,

a direct reading, each different,

admiring skin for what it is.


Sensitivity is ontological.

Come share in the study.

I’m not totally tired of loving a world

which hates.


Except sometimes—


Bitterness stitched in lips, sad penance,

hair shirt, albatross-millstone,

relative hurts compounded by blind

pop culture consumption.


Is the diagnosis critical?


Just today, take pain to a jazz fest.

Let the sky open, all saxophone-gold

blowing tones only feeling can see,

reaching a country of calcified drought,

easing the sores of some dust-dying pariah;

holding a plutonium half-life

and showing a fun house mirror

where missing pieces lie amid

wasted, grenades, inherited



Idealist. Bimbo.

Yes, mockery is tolerable here,

positive energy envisioning age-old evil,

litter, insults begetting the earthly loss

that is savors, then mumbling of indecency.


Yet all day as well, a patchwork of people

on these lawns; neither angels or demons,

only flesh, vibrant, under sun, your corn


rows to my auburn, a wheat field mix

briefly seasoned this minute, fortunate,

as we stretch far from parched

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