After The Revolution, Mine Eyes See Inferno
Araminta’s temple spews
fury mixed with a ghost-whisperer’s
song that leads them to the promised land
moths to the flame of new land
donkey-eagled men trampling on blood-
stained soil, hell fire below, fly away
fly, fly, fly - Lincoln is spread eagle
cowering behind the black bone of slavery
bear a mother’s cross for Christ’s sake, amen
a man sees her face downcast, then
sees her face again, differently / her
headless bonnet a mile post along Jubilee Street
embers burn upon her chest
nipple-feeding armies sag under
the press of deadwood colonies
scratch the amen corner in blue & orange
voices are fire & vapor / traveling oceans
to find the cut throat where the deceased's cries lie
the ancestors’ handprints fist children
into recovery / reparation is to
see the slave man whose bottom half
is blood / your rage is
protesting the time it takes to make
blood boil / what is a lifetime?
New York is under siege / the Plains are on fire
the Mississippi’s overrun with kink & tears /
scratch tragedy into a map, then look again: divine comedy.
Editor's note: The quilt shown above is a remarkable artwork from the late 19th century, by African-American artist Harriet Powers. As beautiful as it is, this is not the image that inspired .chisaraokwu. to write: rather, it is a placeholder as we were unable to contact the artist whose work inspired the poem. Please click here and scroll down to see this amazing piece, Looking At Me Funny, by Mark Bradford (USA).
.chisaraokwu. is a poet, actor & healthcare futurist. She is grateful to have had her works published in many literary and academic journals. She is passionate about addressing trauma through the arts, is semi-obsessed with the indigenous religious traditions of the Igbo of eastern Nigeria and completely obsessed with the Italian language. Find her on IG: @naijabella.
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