howling like biblical Wisdom
for Solomon’s sky-shattering discernment from every street
corner. Peeling apart this electronic newspaper licking dark
wires fired and my hair is kindling that I break off to ignite
our arguments that smell so solipsistic because I cannot
pluck off my nose so you can smell what I have smelled
or dip my kingfisher’s beak into the eyes of a thousand lidless
little stories: goldfish heads who have no voice yet I know some cry
for: “Tyrannicide!” I get it. We’re both rocking down the back of every
blue donkey, dancing down the trunk of every claret-red elephant,
sucking the shaft of a thousand golden trumpets, and was it Uncle
Calvin who said that on Jesus’ thigh a name is tattooed that no one
knows but Himself?
Revelation I am.
Telling my children about Rumpelstiltskin’s scalp bought and sold
and thrown from the spread corollas of my finger tips so that the child
on my lap can imagine what I used to, as I read to him even if only
for a little while, for ahead there is grief and great trials. He doesn’t
need to know about blood swirling in a wine-dark scrim shanked
from a fleeing Arab’s side because for now I am
the pink mist sprayed on a table collected in pouches methamphetamines
wailing to be snorted so I can soar through your lymph nodes and remind
you that when you were six years old there were only two women you
loved your mother and your mother and your mother—and—
my fear is
not that I Am
failing at anything. but rather succeeding at those things which do not really matter.
Ben Kingsley is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Mahatma Ghandi. This Ben is a touch less famous. He hasn't acted since a third grade debut as the undertaker in Music Man. Currently, he is a Michener Fellow, VONA: Voices of our Nation Scholar, and belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. He holds an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently his work has been published in Prairie Schooner and Diverse Voices Quarterly.