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January 26, 2011

Literary LEO 2011

POETRY — FIRST

coda

BY MAKALANI BANDELE

 

inhale tomorrows all the dreams

they contain and fairer view

of end the changes

 

blow everybody away a lick

hucklebuck to which

parker replied

 

da doo ba da doo ba da doo ba doo

 

which is to say

leap a half step

up an octave, every line

 

a poem every poem, a journey

to juke: now’s the time

to change addresses, i told the family

 

let me have a minute alone with mack

close the door behind you lips taste

of ear even as if asleep

 

i know music moves the dreamer

guilt the anchor

the ship is sinking

 

passengers and crew are safe in life-

boats save

your fare, captain

 

the sea is soft and blue

as absolution

lush as coda, then

 

the slow white drift

but the body remains

heavy with itself

 

as a bough with leaves

and white blossoms a few petals

collect, quietly on the ground

 

beneath the tree’s

loss earth’s gain

lush as life