Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 3



To Ellison/Baldwin

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington


     ***
First words. Written. As quickly they
Vanish. Like ink in slow burn to air.
How really can a man leave proof?
For one novel earth and air settled
Into a shape like a lonely cloud
In metals. An iron cast so solid
A soul could breathe inside its chest.
That soul stays unnamed. He is All
Or all who pause to wisely hear
His voice. His story is of choices
—some he can see, others darkly assumed.
The options swish him in a ronde,
Wise man, Slave, Fool? No straw man.
Touch him, the flesh warms. An invisible.


     ***
You’ll always return. You tried risking love
Beyond the room. Its walls called like
Angels will: when they appear in dreams
— all bottled up inside a fantasy so
Private the wings knock like paper planes,
Crying while singing such mangled, airless arias.
Neither the songs they’ve horded nor cherish.
No better angels would be caught dead
— ah what men propose, irony will dispose—
In Giovanni’s room. The kinds of prayers
They know of still are settled here
—yes, but the touch is rough, rash,
Leaving an imprint like a whore’s ruse:
Love. I am happy to see you.


Darryl Lorenzo Wellington: "I'm an African American poet living in Santa Fe, NM. I have published work in Pedestal, Boston Review, Matter Monthly, Drunken Boat, and other places."




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