Poem 75 ± August 18, 2015

Dante Micheaux
The Blue Pill

Things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted
to repeat, I repeat
—though I am mortal: it was. From the beginning
of what is known as time, it was.
Then the laws of the One God came usurping, surpassing.
His prophets true, love declaring | His
prophets false, wall erecting. But before, when the felled
timber sheltered all, divided none,
it was. Garden or forest, near water where the Sweet Flag

showed itself, was the way.
One man lingered too long, until another did the same:

two together clinging
remembering the words of prophets true, love declaring.

Of which, a poet told
and playwright pled and painter painted, people paraded

and then we were free
again, for a short time. The glorious darkness of it,

sublime shadows
among the trees, we knew the anonymity of freedom,

fearless unadulterated
primal freedom won’t make you feed it or clothe it

naked nurturing height
of our pleasure it was. We demanded daylight also,

pressing into discourse,
so free we were—it made envious death more envious 

of us. So place
the speck of sky in our opened hands. It was paradise.

We want it back.

Dante MicheauxDante Micheaux is the author of Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010). His poems and translations have appeared in PN ReviewThe American Poetry ReviewCallaloo and Rattapallax, among other journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted for the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Micheaux’s honors include a prize in poetry from the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, the Oscar Wilde Award and fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation. He resides in London, and is completing a study on literary influence and sexuality.