THIS IS THE CLEARING I ONCE SPOKE OF

LEROI JONES

The talk scared him. Left alone, with me,
at some water. (Suddenness of your mind,
because you will be saved. Stand there
counting deaths. My own, is what I wanted
you to say, Roi, you will die soon.)

And
it went well, till evening, and the birds
fled. Their trees hanging empty at the
river. All of it a creation. More than
ideas. The simple elegant hand, a man
will extend. More than we can lose, and
still talking lovingly of “ourselves.”

The brush sank behind its silence. This
was a jungle, dead children of thought.
We sat looking, and the wind changed
our fire, it was blue, and sang slowly.

Whose mind has this here? The way love
will move. I love you, I say that now
evenly, without emotion. Having
lost you. Or sitting, at the ruptured
threads of light. Wind and birds, spun
out over the water, silent or dead.

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