Archive for December 11th, 2021

Saturday, 11 December 2021

Malcolm by Welton Smith

i cannot move
from your voice.
there is no peace
where i am. the wind
cannot move
hard enough to clear the trash
and far away i hear my screams.

the lean, hard-bone face
a rich copper color.
the smile. the
thin nose and broad
nostrils. Betty-in the quiet
after midnight. your hand
soft on her back. you kiss
her neck softly
below her right ear.
she would turn
to face you and arch up–
her head moving to your chest.
her arms sliding
round your neck. you breathe deeply.
it is quiet. in this moment
you knew
what it was all about.

your voice
is inside me; i loaned
my heart in exchange
for your voice.

in harlem, the long
avenue blocks. the miles
from heart to heart.
a slobbering emaciated man
once a man of god sprawled
on the sidewalk. he clutches
his bottle. pisses on himself
demands you respect him
because his great grandmother
was one-eighth cherokee.
in this moment, you knew.

in berkeley the fat
jewess moves the stringy brown
hair from her face saying
she would like to help you–
give you some of her time.
you knew.
in birmingham “get a move
on you, girl. you bet’not
be late for sunday school.”
not this morning–
it is a design. you knew.

light plays on my eyelashes
when my eyes
are almost closed–
the chrome blues and golds
the crimson and pale
ice green     the swift movements
of lights through my lashes–
the sound of mecca
inside you. you knew.

the man
inside you; the men
inside you fought.
fighting men inside you
made a frenzy
smelling like shit.
you reached into yourself–
deep–and scooped your frenzy
and rolled it to a slimy ball
and stretched your arm back
to throw

now you pace the regions
of my heart. you know
my blood and see
where my tears are made.
i see the beast
and hold my frenzy;
you are not lonely–
in my heart there are many
unmarked graves.


Date: 1965

By: Welton Smith (1940-2006)