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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Danez Smith - From “summer, somewhere”

somewhere, a sun. below, boys brown

as rye play the dozens & ball, jump

 

in the air & stay there. boys become new

moons, gum-dark on all sides, beg bruise

 

-blue water to fly, at least tide, at least 

spit back a father or two. I won’t get started.

 

history is what it is. it knows what it did.

bad dog. bad blood. bad day to be a boy

 

color of a July well spent. but here, not earth

not heaven, boys can’t recall their white shirt

 

turned a ruby gown. here, there is no language

for officer or law, no color to call white.

 

if snow fell, it’d fall black. please, don’t call

us dead, call us alive someplace better.

 

we say our own names when we pray.

we go out for sweets & come back.

 

 

 

 

 

this is how we are born: come morning

after we cypher/feast/hoop, we dig

 

a new boy from the ground, take

him out his treebox, shake worms

 

from his braids. sometimes they’ll sing

a trapgod hymn (what a first breath!)

 

sometimes it’s they eyes who lead

scanning for bonefleshed men in blue.

 

we say congrats, you’re a boy again! 

we give him a durag, a bowl, a second chance.

 

we send him off to wander for a day

or ever, let him pick his new name.

 

that boy was Trayvon, now called RainKing.

that man Sean named himself I do, I do.

 

O, the imagination of a new reborn boy

but most of us settle on alive

 

 

 

 

sometimes a boy is born

right out the sky, dropped from

 

a bridge between starshine & clay.

one boy showed up pulled behind

 

a truck, a parade for himself

& his wet red gown. years ago

 

we plucked brothers from branches

unpeeled their naps from bark.

 

sometimes a boy walks into his room

then walks out into his new world

 

still clutching wicked metals. some boys

waded here through their own blood. 

 

does it matter how he got here if we’re all here

to dance? grab a boy, spin him around.

 

if he asks for a kiss, kiss him.

if he asks where he is, say gone

 

 

 

 

no need for geography

now that we’re safe everywhere.

 

point to whatever you please

& call it church, home, or sweet love.

 

paradise is a world where everything

is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun. 

 

here, if it grows it knows its place

in history. yesterday, a poplar 

 

told me of old forest

heavy with fruits I’d call uncle

 

bursting red pulp & set afire, 

harvest of dark wind chimes. 

 

after I fell from its limb

it kissed sap into my wound.

 

do you know what it’s like to live

someplace that loves you back?

 

 

 

 

here, everybody wanna be black & is. 

look — the forest is a flock of boys

 

who never got to grow up, blooming

into forever, afros like maple crowns 

 

reaching sap-slow toward sky. watch

Forest run in the rain, branches

 

melting into paper-soft curls, duck

under the mountain for shelter. watch

 

the mountain reveal itself a boy. 

watch Mountain & Forest playing

 

in the rain, watch the rain melt everything

into a boy with brown eyes & wet naps — 

 

the lake turns into a boy in the rain

the swamp — a boy in the rain

 

the fields of lavender — brothers

dancing between the storm. 

 

 

 

 

if you press your ear to the dirt

you can hear it hum, not like it’s filled

 

with beetles & other low gods

but like a mouth rot with gospel

 

& other glories. listen to the dirt

crescendo a boy back. 

 

come. celebrate. this 

is everyday. every day 

 

holy. everyday high 

holiday. everyday new 

 

year. every year, days get longer. 

time clogged with boys. the boys

 

O the boys. they still come

in droves. the old world 

 

keeps choking them. our new one 

can’t stop spitting them out. 

 

 

 

 

ask the mountain-boy to put you on

his shoulders if you want to see

 

the old world, ask him for some lean

-in & you’ll be home. step off him

 

& walk around your block.

grow wings & fly above your city.

 

all the guns fire toward heaven.

warning shots mince your feathers.

 

fall back to the metal-less side

of the mountain, cry if you need to.

 

that world of laws rendered us into dark 

matter. we asked for nothing but our names

 

in a mouth we’ve known 

for decades. some were blessed 

 

to know the mouth.

our decades betrayed us. 

 

 

 

 

there, I drowned, back before, once. 

there, I knew how to swim but couldn’t.

 

there, men stood by shore & watched me blue.

there, I was a dead fish, the river’s prince. 

 

there, I had a face & then I didn’t.

there, my mother cried over me

 

but I wasn’t there. I was here, by my own

water, singing a song I learned somewhere

 

south of somewhere worse. that was when

direction mattered. now, everywhere 

 

I am is the center of everything.

I must be the lord of something. 

 

what was I before? a boy? a son?

a warning? a myth? I whistled

 

now I’m the God of whistling.

I built my Olympia downstream. 

 

 

 

 

you are not welcome here. trust

the trip will kill you. go home.

 

we earned this paradise 

by a death we didn’t deserve.

 

I am sure there are other heres.

a somewhere for every kind

 

of somebody, a heaven of brown 

girls braiding on golden stoops

 

but here — 

how could I ever explain to you — 

 

 

 

someone prayed we’d rest in peace

& here we are

 

 

in peace             whole                all summer

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