Christmas then and again

I remember either my grandmother or her sister telling me how their Mama and Papa – Frank and Mary Cogswell – would set up the tree in… well perhaps it was the dining room or the parlor – but it would be in a front room behind safely closed doors – and then at a certain moment on Christmas eve, the doors would open and there would be the tree with little candles burning in their tiny candle-holders – oh and how we had to be careful, she said, careful not to set the tree on fire, Dan’l, or even burn down the house! The four children, Robert, Caroline, Daniel, and Nellie, would rush in through the open doors into the room with the tree lighting up the walls and the mirror and the books and the table where Mama and the hired girl were setting out food and drink and Papa would pick up a carefully wrapped present from under the tree and say here this is for you, and this for you, and this for you my girl, and this, this is for you.

I think about that story today and how one of the old sisters told it to me once or twice, and today I invent and embroider and write it down and change the voice in the middle of the stream of consciousness from one person to another and then reflect that that it could have been some hundred and twenty years ago last night because I believe it was Christmas eve, if I remember rightly, because of the candles burning bright in the night and perhaps it was in Lincoln, Kansas; or perhaps it was in Madison, Wisconsin; or perhaps it was in Seattle, where they finally ended up those last years before Papa died, and I think oh my, how very Victorian, how very bourgeois, how very, very North American.

this is the cargo van that danial bought

This is the cargo van that Danial bought.

These are the cabinets already built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the electric inverter that sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the microwave that pulls its power from the inverter that already sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the food that will cook in the microwave that pulls its power from the inverter which sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

These are the built-in drawers that shall hold the food that will cook in the microwave that pulls its power from the inverter which sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

These are the doors that cover the drawers that hold the food that will cook in the microwave that pulls its power from the inverter sitting in the cabinets already built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

These are the speakers that hang on the doors that cover the drawers that hold the food that will cook in the microwave pulling its power from the inverter who sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the radio that feeds the speakers that hang on the doors that cover the drawers that hold the food that will cook in the microwave pulling its power from the inverter who sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the steering wheel next to the radio that feeds the speakers that hang on the doors that cover the drawers that hold the food to cook in the microwave pulling its power from that inverter who sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the driver who grasps the wheel sitting next to the radio that feeds the speakers which hang on the doors that cover the drawers to hold the food to cook in the microwave pulling its power from the inverter who sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

This is the receipt that was paid by the driver who grasps the wheel sitting next to the radio that feeds the speakers which hang on the doors that cover the drawers to hold the food to cook in the microwave pulling its power from the inverter who sits in the cabinets built in the back of the van that Danial bought.

These are the doxs which were dropped for the van that Danial bought.

Tuesday

The light comes up in the morning and it is beautiful. How it slowly grows from darkness into bright. How the windows of the house admit its shine into our sleeping shadows. How the walls move from invisible to plain, from obscurity to clear. How the dog stretches and yawns and begs for breakfast. How my brother gets up, to come out into the kitchen. How I sit and write without having to turn on the lamp.

How I say good morning. How he answers.

The light steadily grows around us. Over my shoulder, outside the window, beyond the street of California houses, hills shine in rising color under the sky. Orange, blue, gray.

As my words flow, I watch my fingers glow.

This is not paper. I am computer.

Dawn.

some genealogos

A few years ago I scanned some of Mom’s old photos she got from her mother, including two pictures that fit side by side. On the back, however, they are labled as having been taken at Cedar Point, not at Cottonwood Falls, on the 6th of March, 1921.

My mother would have been only six months old, her sister Virginia was then five years and six months old.

It will be a hundred years ago next March.

I would like to go there.

Yes.

I also look at other old photos I scanned into computer files while I was living with my mother.

They were all taken a long time ago. Most of them in the early decades of the twentieth century. A few in the last years of the 19th. A picture of my grandmother and her three sisters, for example.

There they are, the four Holsinger girls of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas: Jeannette (“Netty” born 1880), Elizabeth (“Lizzie” 1885), Arabella (“Picky” 1887), and my grandmother Margaret (“Peggy” 1889).

If you look at these four young girls, you can see the difference in their ages, and may identify each one. Jeannette standing tall; Elizabeth below, on the right; Arabella to the left; Margaret in the center.

There were other babies born to my great-grandmother May, babies who died in infancy and whose tiny bodies were buried in the Cottonwood Falls cemetery.

There was also the older brother, “Bun” (William E. Holsinger 1878-1915) who had one daughter, Dolores (1908-2004) before he passed from mortal life. He appears in another photograph of 1913.

These were the five surviving children of William Henry Holsinger (1853-1930) and Flora May Gandy Holsinger (1856-1935), the five children of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.

William and May came to the Cottonwood area with their families in the middle 1850s, during the violent and difficult years of “Bloody Kansas” – when the territory was in contention between slave-owning emigrants from the southern states, and abolitionist settlers from the northern states. William was the son of Daniel Holsinger (1827-1863) and Julia Ann Walter (1832-1906), who came west from Pennsylvania via Indiana. May was the daughter of Asbury Preston Gandy (1825-1909) and Nancy Ellen Williams (1831-1883) who met, and married, in Iowa, after emigrating there in the 1840s with their families from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

I begin to see how boring this all is.

But it is on my mind. So I have indulged myself.

Nowadays we tend to think we have been through a revolutionary change, what with computers and cell phones and the internet and social networking, but the fact is that our great grandparents and their parents also passed through massive changes. Daniel, Julia, Asbury, and Nancy, began their lives in the world of wagons with a wide-open frontier (to be taken from the American Indians), and they witnessed the bloody war between the states, the explosion of the industrial revolution, and the capitalist triumph of both the railroads and mail-order catalogs. Their children and grandchildren beheld the birth of electricity, automobiles, and the motion picture.

They watched the 19th century become the 20th, and we have lived on to begin the 21st.

That is all. In a nutshell.

64th year of the space age

They launched a rocket that lifted a small metal satellite into orbit sixty-three years ago. “The world will never be the same.” Many said. Beep beep beep beep beep October 4, 1957. The twelfth day of Autumn (northern hemisphere) that year. This year the twelfth falls on the third of October because of the leap year, which corrects our Gregorian Calendar, making it slightly more timely than Julius Caesar’s correction 2080 some years ago. For that, and other reasons, “they” killed him next door to where the cats all live in the ruins of the Largo. Not that that makes this any different that I can see, but it does make something count for small amounts. I myself would like to visit there, one day. Perhaps I shall, but I think not. I grow old, and already wear my pants rolled. These are the coffee spoons where I measure out my life (as TS reminded me). If you don’t like it, then write your own measure of time and space it into your orbit like this. H spelled “principal” wrong in his letter, but it worked.

early morning verse 13 moon 8 autumn 63 space age

rondeau               sestina                 pantoum              ghazal                  sonnet

i read I read        a poem by a human in her chosen form                 and she names the names of other forms                  and I copy them, planning to look them up and measure them against my          own lack of talent or skill              but no

i am lz   I Am Lazy

today I will not claim to clean this house                filthy beyond my own     belief     my own standard              of cleanliness nest two is God li ness        Elliot Ness           my first ex-wife’s grandfather dipped his handkerchief in John Dillinger blood on the sidewalk outside that movie theater in whatever the hell year it was last century

oh God ye gods mother nature, father sky, brother earthquake and lightning bolt               what do you mean Benjamin Franklin no, I thought Zeus invented electricity

I would like a cup of coffee but it makes me pee

there are carrots in Holtville        they even have a festival              but the hot spring is closed                because of the plague, you know

.

Ditto

.

some more Roman fragments

PILATE AND NIKOS AND THE CAPTAIN

1.

So, young Greek, when did you first hear?

Word came to Egypt with the last ships of Autumn. But it was very little news and we did not know then that Aelius Sejanus had fallen from power and been killed. There was only a rumor that passed through the city of Alexandria, a rumor of a last ship before winter that struggled in from the storms, and its sailors told how before leaving Italy with a final shipment of wine and fish sauce, they had heard a story that the emperor was leaving Kapri to journey to Rome, and that the great city was in turmoil, wondering and worrying what he would bring to them.

So you did not hear until Spring, last year? When the first ships came from Italy after winter?

No. Not until then. Only when the captain came to Alexandria last Spring did I hear from his own lips what had happened.

The captain?

Yes. I knew him, you see, from my trip out, five years ago, when I was sent to study in Egypt with Philo. He sometimes came to see me, once or twice those years, if his ship came to Alexandria. But then, last March, on his first trip of Spring, he sent for me at the museon. Had a messenger lead me to meet him in a tavern near the palace gates.

Oh. Have some fruit?

Thank you, my lord governor.

Go on.

It was noisy there. We had a tiny room in back, but even so the shouting from out front was quite loud. I think the captain did not want anyone to hear what he told me.

Oh. Well, dear Greek – ah, what is your name again? Nikodemos, isn’t it?

Yes, your excellency.

Of course. And what did he tell you?

That the emperor had… had terminated… his… his prefect. Aelius Sejanus, I mean.

You seem to have some… difficulty saying those words, young man.

I… I was afraid of him, excellency.

Oh. That’s right, you were… one of Tiberius’ boys, weren’t you.

Excellency?

That’s what I was told. That you had somehow gained the favor of the emperor’s astrologer, and were sent to Egypt to study.

Yes, sire, that is true.

Ah ha. Perhaps you might be interested in how I heard about you, Nikodemos?

Sire?

Sejanus wrote to me, young man. Five years ago, when you were sent to Alexandria. He… well, I suppose you know he was very close to the emperor.

Yes, sir.

Shall I tell you what he wrote?

If your excellency wishes.

Ah… a very careful answer. But what is your desire? Do you wish to hear? Or remain in… silence and ignorance.

It is better to know, sire.

Yes. Usually. But sometimes it can be very hard to discover just what the truth is, and what is mere noise and envious talk.

The prefect is correct.

Well. Here. Have some bread and meat. No doubt you are hungry after being kept in… one of my prison cells overnight.

Thank you. Yes.

I don’t believe I have apologized to you for that… error.

Mmm. Your excellency is too kind.

Humph. Damn fool of a doorman thought he could force you to pay him a bribe to see me. Didn’t you tell him I had sent for you?

Yes sir, but… we were speaking Aramaic.

Ha! He did not know you were Roman, or Greek?

I think not, sire.

Well well well, what do you know?

This is delicious lamb, sir. Tender. Thank you.

You are welcome. Where was I? Oh. Yes. How I knew about you. The prefect Sejanus wrote to me, told me that you had helped him save the emperor’s life, and that in return, the divine Tiberius had agreed with his astrologer’s recommendation that you be sent to Egypt to study. I suppose he also wrote to the governor in Egypt, but am not sure.

Mmm.

Well? Was it true? Were you sent?

Uh, yes sir. He did. The emperor. And his astrologer. They did, I mean.

Don’t eat so fast. So you have studied, these past few ears, in the museon?

Yes, excellency. Well, actually, I was told to put myself under Philo, and to learn about the Jews. Their religion and language.

So that is what you have been studying for five years?

Yes and no, sire. Master Philo insisted I study Greek literature and natural history. The day he met me, he spent some time questioning me, then said I did not know enough about Hellenic studies, that they were my native language and culture and I should spend my days in the museon of Alexandria, to study it first. Not until a year later, when I had satisfied him I was at least elementarily versed in those subjects, only then did he consent to my studying Hebrew with his students.

Oh. So you know their language then? Both Aramaic and that… Hebrew, their religious language?

Yes, sire.

Hmm. Now you may eat some more, young man. Just not so fast. Be careful. Let your empty stomach gradually get used to working again.

Thank you, excellency. Oh… one other thing?

Yes, my young Greek?

Astrology. And astronomy. I was to continue my work with the stars, along with the other natural sciences and history. To concentrate on what scholars and scientists had written, for the last three hundred years, in the museon.

Oh. Astrology. Yes. Thrasyllus. The emperor’s man. I have heard about him.

Yes, excellency.

Is that why your captain took an interest in you? Because you know the stars?

Yes. He often said I could make a fine navigator.

Ah. Here. Have an olive. But tell me then, can you read the stars? Do they fortell our fate?

Not exactly, sire, I mean, yes, I can read them, a little, but it is not so much our fate which they tell, as… as it is the possibility of… the potential for… certain events, or tendencies for events, to occur, or not.

Hmmm. Suitably obscure, I will give you that, young man.

Excellency.

But one thing still concerns me.

Sire?

Why did you come to Jerusalem. Were you sent? Did you receive an order to come here?

Philo suggested I was ready, and that I could come with other students traveling here for Pesach.

Oh. Yes. Of course. Their festival. So… no orders came to you, not even a hint or suggestion, from Rome… or Kapri?

No, sire.

Would you tell me if you had been commanded by the emperor, or by his astrologer, or by anyone?

Ah… yes, sire, I believe I would.

Why?

Because you are the governor, here. You are the emperor’s man.

Yes. I suppose I am. Even now.

Oh. But I see your point, excellency. There is the matter of what happened to Sejanus.

Yes. You know he had his hand in everything Tiberius did. For the past ten years, in fact, he was Tiberius, if you understand me.

Sire.

He wrote to me, once or twice a year, and told me to send my reports to him. Then, suddenly last year, he was gone.

Oh.

Officially, I heard… only that he had been terminated. Then other rumors came. About killings and riots in Rome. That hundreds of his… friends… were executed. Or killed. But no official reports came to me.

No?

No. That is why, young man, I want to know exactly what your captain said to you.

Of course, excellency.

But first… let me dismiss the servants. Just as you told me you thought the captain did not want his words to be overheard?

No. I mean yes.

Then you understand me?

Of course.

When you are ready I will lead us to a place we can talk. Here – a napkin and a bowl of water for your fingers.

Sire.

Now, come with me.

He led me then from his private room to a door that opened into a steep and narrow staircase which climbed up along a crack in the wall, higher and higher, until we reached the top of the fortress. Only a few guards were on duty up there on the highest battlements of the Antoniad.

Pilate escorted me to the corner of yet another, smaller tower, where we climbed higher yet to a topmost level, and reaching the narrow platform, he dismissed the man on watch. Then he took my arm and pointed my gaze across the temple courtyards and buildings all spread out below us. In the early morning sunlight, the view of the city was shining underneath a brilliant, blue heaven.

“See? This, there, below us, is their inner sanctum, their holy temple of the one true God they claim created the universe and chose them as his special people.” He looked at me, “You say you studied their writing, young man, and that you know what they teach?”

“Yes, excellency.”

“So tell me what they say about their one God, then.”

“Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam, Sh’hecheyanu, V’Kiyemanu, V’Higianu LaZman HaZeh.”

“Hmm. Yes. I have heard something like that, sometimes, when they let me hear them muttering. And what does it mean, then, young Greek?”

I paused, carefully chose my words in Greek, and said, “Praised Be You Lord, Our Holy King of the Universe, Who Keeps Us Alive, Sustains Us, and Allows Us To Have This Moment.”

The governor answered me in Latin. “Oh. Yes. It all sounds so reasonable when you say it in Greek, my dear Nikodemos.” Then he shook his head, “But I tell you, if you get even two or three of them in one room together they will begin to argue about every single word they say.”

“Yes. Exactly right. They do. That was how it was when I studied in Alexandria. They were always debating, always arguing. That was how I learned their language, just keeping my mouth shut and listening. And yet, excellency, I am told that there, with Philo, they were much less argumentative than here, in their Holy City, in their Holy Land.”

“Humph.” He turned back into the view, and was silent. I listened with him. It was still early, but already the sounds of the the distant crowds reached our ears. A long sigh of many voices, the whisper of animals and birds, the occasional clang of metal. Then, from somewhere below us, the tramping of soldiers’ feet.

Pilate looked around, saw no one with us on the narrow pinacle of stone, and led me to a bench hidden below the wall, as far as possible away from the stairs that came up from below. He bade me sit down, settled beside me, then quietly spoke, “So tell me now, and tell me exactly what your captain told you last Spring, when you first spoke with him.”

2.

Nikos, you would not believe what I saw, what I heard…

No. I was not in Rome. But near enough. We had taken the ship, full of good Egyptian grain, into the harbor of Ostia. Yes, as you know no cargo ship can make it up the river into the city. No. Furthermore, all the larger ships that feed the capital must unload their cargoes at Puteoli, near Neapolis, but smaller ships can dock at Ostia, the Port of Rome, as they call it. My ship is small, as you know. Yes, the men are all well, thank you.

But to continue, Ostia is twenty miles down the Tiber River from Rome. Yes, that’s right. You know it. You also know how the sacks of grain are unloaded onto barges, which are then hauled up the river to the warehouses in the city. Yes. That’s right. The harvest in Egypt is no later than June, and my small ship was loaded in July, and left shortly thereafter. But we ran into hard and contrary winds, much more than usual, and so the westward voyage, which normally, sailing against the wind, is only sixty or seventy days – yes, you remember, don’t you, how we literally flew from Italy to Egypt that first trip, when I brought you to Alexandria four years ago – we only took two weeks, with the wind behind us, and fair seas before us, yes, but heading back the other way is always much longer, and this year it was much worse, taking almost three months before we reached Ostia in October. Yes. That was late.

But it was also the time that all hell broke loose in the city, that same week when Sejanus fell from power. Yes. No, I did not go into Rome. Not on that trip. Which was just as well, mind you, as I am sure you will agree when I tell you what I saw, and then what I heard… no, none of us went up to the city, no, we stayed with the ship in Ostia, at first struggling just to unload the hundreds of sacks of grain, and we almost succeeded, before… before they began to burn the shops and kill the grain officials, and well, why? Because Aelius Sejanus had control of the import and distribution, of course. For nearly ten years all the officials and customs masters and tax collectors and registrars were all his men, or had paid good money to his men to get their positions of power and control, yes. You know it. You know how important the grain supply is. For nearly three hundred years the great city of Rome simply has not fed itself without endless rivers of wheat and barley flowing in from Sicily and North Africa and Egypt. No.

Two things, and two things alone, keep the emperor and all his men in power. The bread for the people to eat, and the circuses and spectacles to entertain them.

Yes. But I digress.

How did it happen? When did the riots and killing begin? Well, I will tell you. At the time, I was only worried about our cargo, but later, well, later I had time to sit back and think about what happened, and put it together with what I heard from… from some of my investors, you know, the owners, the men who actually pay for my ship and its operations and repairs, yes. Some of them were quite important men. Some of them are dead now, killed in the bloodbath and massacre and riot; but a few survived. Putting together what I saw in Ostia, and what I heard from my owners, I have come to understand that the worst of it all began the day after we tied up against the stone wharf, in Ostia, the day we began to unload our hundreds of sacks of grain.

I remember it was three days after the Ides of October when we made port, very late in the afternoon. Now, I must back up and say we had stopped in Puteoli three days before, and heard rumors that Tiberius might be going back to Rome – strange news indeed, for you know better than anyone, Nikos, that he had scarcely stirred from Kapri, except to come ashore in Baiae or Misenum once in a great while, and that it had been near seven long years – or was it only six – since he left Rome behind and went to perch in his nest of eagles on the island… but I digress. All I mean to say here is that we heard a rumor in Puteoli, on our last leg into Ostia, we heard a rumor that the emperor might indeed be headed for Rome. Other wild rumors were attached to the story, that he was going to confer further honors on his dedicated prefect Sejanus, that Tiberius’ niece Livilla was to marry Sejanus, and even that the prefect would be adopted into the imperial family. You know how people talk and speculate about those who are high up in power, yes.

Well, as it turned out… none of it was true. But that did not stop the rumors. We even heard them again, rampant on the docks in Ostia, where the morning after we arrived, the port officials came to check our documents and collect the port service fee and then approve the unloading of our cargo, and they told us they had been expecting, perhaps, a fleet of galleys to come in from Misenum with the emperor himself onboard, that we should stand by to stay out of the way, as the great ships with two and three banks of oars, biremes and triremes, would come beating their wake in from the sea with the rhythm of the slaves thrusting the forests of motive shafts, the banks of oars moving in unison, in concert, up forward, downward back, driving the naval galleys across the surface of the water like great wings of feathered wood, and… have you ever seen a galley, Nikos, beating forward over the sea…? No?

No. No such thing happened. But the rumors were flying across the docks and along the embarcadero, and many an eye bent toward the harbor mouth, half expecting to see great ships turn in and beat their way toward us… even the cargo slaves, grasping at ropes and shouldering the bags of grain, seemed to be moving with… I don’t know what… anticipation, perhaps, wondering if there might be a holiday or festival to celebrate the return of Tiberius to his capital, a glorious homecoming to his center of empire. That in celebration they might have a day free from labor, a bit of extra food, even a chance to get drunk on cheap wine. Or fuck a whore. But no. No such thing happened. No such holiday came to pass nor any festival transpired.

Except… for blood and death and riot and mutilation. But that all started a day later.

Oh Nikos, well… we all know these things happen, but I am so used to men simply working together and getting the job done that I think the ordinary world just keeps on moving along its normal way, day in and day out, and night by night, too… I remember how you and Philostratus and I stood on the deck up near the bow, in front of the great square sail in twilight dark before that first sunrise, after our first night out from Pompeii, and I remember how we three watched the stars rise from the east, beyond the black silhouette of the broken mountains of Italy, and while we talked and pointed, the three of us turned across the deck, naming the constellations, naming them both as we sailors know them and as you learned them from the astrologer Thrasyllus, following the zodiac from east to west, do you remember? Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, and then we gazed at the great hunter, Orion, dead ahead of us in the South, with his dogs off the port bow, barking and chasing after the great Bull who turned his bright red eye to face the mighty hunter, and you pointed out Jupiter setting below the Fish into the darkness of the Tyrhennian sea, and Saturn, high above in the Twins, and Mars, rising with Leo, and my navigator whispered to me, “This boy knows his planets, Cap’n,” and I was suddenly very glad you had been sent into my life, and I thought of my own children most probably still sleeping beside their mother back in Pompeii, and I hoped that they would have the chance to learn what you know, but not have the pain I feared you had suffered.

But I have wandered away from what I want to tell you.

Four days after the Ides of October, at the end of our second day in port, the riots began. The cargo slaves had been working all day, and we had nearly emptied the ship and were looking forward to finishing tomorrow morning, when suddenly about an hour after sunset, after the dock slaves had gone back to their chained quarters, after we had pulled in our gangway and eaten our small supper, suddenly I heard shouting, angry shouting, and then I saw men with torches running along the dock beyond the ship, and now I saw one of the port officials struggling with two men who were stabbing at him with daggers and he screamed and stretched out his arms and gold coins fell from his hands and more men with torches surrounded him and in the flickering firelight I saw one man thrust his blade straight into the official’s neck and blood shot out like a pulsing fountain and he slowly turned and fell into the water beneath the bow of the ship docked behind us, and the men shouted out, “Death to you damned piece of shit your master is fallen and all your cursed money whores will die!”

I learned later from my owners – those who survived – that Aelius Sejanus had been condemned to die only that evening, and then he was strangled and his body thrown onto the Gemonian stairs – where many of his legal victims have been cast down in recent years – and the crowd fell upon his body and ripped it into pieces, then spread out through the city hunting for anyone they could find who they thought had been one of his partners in tyranny and persecution. Someone, or someones, must have driven by chariot directly to Ostia specifically to attack his customs officials, or perhaps to warn them, or both… because, you see, Nikos, the man I saw looked like he was running and trying to escape with a hoard of gold coins but as I said he did not get away. They caught him and killed him. Meanwhile I had armed my men onboard and ordered them to stay with the ship and guard it, and fortunately we had already pulled in our boarding plank so except for some argument with rioters running by, and our loudly, angrily swearing we were not sheltering any port officials, well, we managed to survive the night without anyone of our crew suffering any wounds or injuries. Soon I saw fires burning down the dock, in the port offices, and we heard screams and shouting coming from that direction, and some two or three of my men wanted to go ashore and loot whatever they could but I ordered them no. We will stay onboard and protect our ship. Which is what we did.

.

.

Monday 5 Harvest Moon 94 Northern Summer 63 Space Age       21 September 2020               05:28 pdt

The last day of Summer dawns dark with Venus captured in the clear sky, my eyes open at night’s last hour and this is the birth of twilight. In that morning yet to come alive, a flicker of Frankenstein says oh please don’t conspiracy me from China, I remember your flu when it flew in the window, and Enza was only a word we whispered, kneeling in fear, our prayers giving us foxholes from history, something we shared, your gum wrappers turning white into black lives matter and

Energy, sweetheart, made me squeeze priviledge and yes, I know, I was educated with caucasian fortune and good property values, as police stopped me to question why I came from where I came from who I was and they saw my brown eyes and pale manly arms with new, young moustache which

I still had to exercise with charm, but the difference was, they let me speak before they said go away. Don’t make waves. Shut up –

You are not politically correct. I am.