A Poem by Roger Reeves - Believer Magazine
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A Poem by Roger Reeves

by Roger Reeves
January 28th, 2021
Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan

Future, from Beyond the Voice of God

What shall be done with the demand
For more selfies, selfies of the crow
In the wheat and the wheat knocking

Against the window, selfies of my daughter
Hooting like an owl and beating
The back of her cage, the back of her bones,

Selfies of Wittgenstein’s eyes
Settling on the back of a crow
Which is the shadow of a boy

Delivering milk to the door of his mother—
Where language began, begins—
Gertrude Stein over the Steinbauerggasse

Eating salt-fish and conk fritters
With Aimé Césaire, more selfies of negroes
From Niger and Nor’leans, blue-black

In the blue-black buck and canter of summer
In Yves Saint Laurent glasses and pinafores
Of light pinned to the eyes—no church in the wild,

But more selfies of Susie Asado buck-dancing
On balustrades near the nigger
Cemeteries where the chariots swung so low

We just called them commas—we
‘bout to fuck up some commas yeah—
Gerrymander and Jack Johnson the shit

Out of shit—why do white women
Love black men—“because we eat
Cold eels and think distant thoughts.”

Jack Johnson—we need more selfies—
Selfies of Frederick Douglass’s pen
Removed from the gashes in his feet

And writing hot checks for Rolexes and rivers
Our bodies just can’t cash—wade
In the water, wade in the water, children—

We ‘bout to fuck up some trauma, yeah—
Selfie and holler yeah, Instagram at the ashram
With Lil’ Weezy and Wardell Curry, Junior

Not Senior, bustin’ three pointers, yeah,
On behalf of a local charity that sends mosquito
Nets to children in Africa, the Sudan—

Niger—I don’t know—Tyger
Tyger burning bright! Tyger
Tyger hanging from the street light! —Distant thought:

I’m so in time I’m outta time—so selfie
I’m healthy—I mean I’m sayin though
You know what I’m sayin—

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