André O. Hoilette: Two Poems

i have a golden shovel with the blacks

“I have a great relationship with the blacks.” – Donald J.Trump


to that, over which you preside, i
would gesture to the sudden dying of kestrels; they have
seized, sent their great bodies, spinning deciduous seed pods, a
mistake of a blessing when the hollow bones break on the ground and great
stones in our rivers. what is the relationship
of wind or air to avian lifetimes, having served feathers with
whole selves, enslaved to another’s flight who never consider the
absence or tumult of which sending their bodies a crashing in bruises of blues and blacks.


pink flowers

for henrietta & jay


jay’s voice dances in echoes
on the dark wood of the brownstone hallways.
his practice for Steamroller
never stops but intensifies before holiday season.
there are pink flowers
growing next to the trash on the street.

henrietta falls ill, but tells no one
except jay. he is her only child,
but waited, because she didn’t want him
to worry. there is a slow
building of cells, familiar but foreign
in her pancreas. they go about their work rapidly.
there are pink flowers growing in her window box.

jay is an intensely private person.
henrietta is an intensely private person.
because of sepsis, because of COVID
doctors canceled the rest of her chemo this afternoon.
they recommend hospice
plan to discharge in a few hours.
there are pink flowers in the bouquet jay has brought her.

henrietta dies 2 hours after coming home.
jay is an orphan. he has no help.
the funeral director suggest pink flowers for her waking.

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