shadowboxing

by JARI BRADLEY

 

after Noname

 

Uncle says church was made

For people like me--I wonder

If by people he means the hard

 

Legged girls or the soft legged

Boys with secret mouths--the

Kinds of people born with gods

 

In their heads clamoring over

Their bodies--helping them say

What Jesus cannot; Jesus offering

 

Them peace when those gods

Are busy warring. I am not the only

child that has dreamed of falling

 

From a familiar sky--not the

Only child to die in search

Of new worlds when the current

 

One demands the tongue

From my head. I still question

What I am made of: sex or soil.

 

I make a fist & box

My shadow into a corner

Just to see if it will survive me--

 

I am swinging in the dark

Punching into the gut of what

I cannot see but I know is there

 

A choir of his rotted

flesh singing my name.