PrePositions by L. Lamar Wilson

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Lodged in the back of my throat, held as tightly
As the slack of a man’s johnny-come-lately soul I sup

To the quick, make thicken, & dissolve into the symphony
Of my selves sieved & open, I implore you, O friend I refused to take

Inside for years.  O to see your wonders performed, how trill the sound
Of my perfidious blood honeydewed! Look at us & marvel

At whose we’ve become: Big Pharma’s sugar mamas hankering
For daddies’ diamond DNAs unfiltered. I’m always dropping you

In sentences these days, with a question mark, as I whisper to you
With the same breathless assurance I want to give my every corpuscle

To the ones who choose tenderness when most herald Savage. Woke. Petty
on the online market to the highest bidder. It took years

Before I realized I’d forgotten to let you in, forgotten to say
With with in tandem in a last will, in a love letter I’d left

To the flesh of my not-yet-birthed flesh in this nation
In which I call our clan’s father lit & beautiful.

For he is, so much so I would cuss God & dye my soul blacker  
If I could. If I could, I’d sing my selves happy, kissing every crater

Of our fathers’ fathers’ father’s pale face, kiss his woman’s lips, too.
For this slave wrote us a love letter once, when she spied a glimpse

Of our bicoastal future body-bagged. Who can sing thy force? she extolled,
With palms outstretched. Imagine that! O bittersweet pill we take & feast

Upon where’er we go so that no one sees the secrets we carry
In our pocks now. Squares that we are, we’ve swallowed hope & shat fear

Of the truth we know: We are so good to gather. We do the police
In different voices, too. Our self hoods & hoodies, our woadies wildin’

Upon the dancing machinas of our woulda coulda shouldas, our shekinahs
To a glory made whole. By you. We’re so pregnant — thanks to you —

With possibilities. Let us swallow our souls’ salvation, commence
With this born-again Earth’s new covenant. PrEP, are ye the way of the Lord?

Photo of L. Lamar Wilson by Tyrus Ortega Gaines

Photo of L. Lamar Wilson by Tyrus Ortega Gaines

L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacrilegion (Carolina Wren Press, 2013) and co-author of Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), with the Phantastique Five. He’s a recipient of fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Callaloo Workshops, and the Blyden and Roberta Jackson Fund at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he’s completing a doctorate in African American and multi-ethnic American poetics. Wilson, an Affrilachian Poet, teaches creative writing and African American literature at The University of Alabama.