Colorado Springs

Danez Smith
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she crying for all us – her brother, son, me, everyone someone’s boy – before
the wedding, henny wrecked, lovewhelmed, meaning well so much – 
she says – Black boys go thru these days: gay, transgender, gangbanging – i know
what she means, i try to     not be criminalized     i know she doesn’t see us as crimes,
maybe sins, but sense to her, since i know my own mother – i know she means
the bodies we didn’t think our sons would lay down, the men we never imagined
would seek our sons in the night          our boys dressed in those colors
monochrome & prismstrained, flagging what we hoped wouldn’t find them. i know
when i pressed my purple stone to my mother’s breast, what flooded her wasn’t disgust
but sickness, knowing what violences might rush her once blue babe now cut to pink
meat, red as honesty, those blood ill premonitions: love – their own bodies – other boys
all mothers know anything can hunt a son – a fear so animal language cannot tame
nor reason. later, before the wedding, in the woods at the mountain’s feet, love 
points out a mushroom that looks like a coin. it do. earthy currency, a metal soft 
& chewable, fragile platinum. even if i was Mother Earth I couldn’t expect this
wild change, fleshy & star bright steel bloom. I wouldn’t know it grew like this
too, dirt rising into armor. she didn’t know we grow up fine, my mother loves
her purpled child deeper & truer even though what she feared would scar me
left its mark. i know she meant well, i know love shots beyond language or sense.
mothers, if we make it, we make it through it all.
love, find our sons.
body, hold our babies well. free them from all cages even if it’s what we named them.
violence, don’t lust after our boys & call it kin. if you must find our babies in the midst
of their lives, please leave only a wound we can dress
& may we not be the scars they stitch lonely in the mothergone dark.


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