American Sonnet for Wanda C.

 

Who I know knows why all those lush-boned worn-out girls are
Whooping at where the moon should be, an eyelid clamped
On its lightness. Nobody sees her without the hoops firing in her
Ears because nobody sees. Tattooed across her chest she claims
Is BRING ME TO WHERE MY BLOOD RUNS and I want that to be here
Where I am her son, pent in blackness and turning the night’s calm
Loose and letting the same blood fire through me. In her bomb hair:
Shells full of thunder; in her mouth: the fingers of some calamity,
Somebody foolish enough to love her foolishly. Those who could hear
No music weren’t listening—and when I say it, it’s like claiming
She’s an elegy. It rhymes, because of her, with effigy. Because of her,
If there is no smoke, there is no party. I think of you, Miss Calamity,
Every Sunday. I think of you on Monday. I think of you hurling hurt
Where the moon should be and stomping into our darkness calmly.

 
 
—Terrance Hayes