Wycliffe’s Song


“Don’t wear your colors here,
That’s cemetery gear” ~ the fugees

Here is Uganda. Now.

Don’t wear red, don’t wear blue
Or the public and hired goons gon’ stick to you.
Even if you are just children.
Don’t wear yellow in the ghetto!
Which is everywhere dissatisfied everywhere you go.

A poet wore yellow next to a president
And it didn’t mean anything
Except that she was radiant.

An artist looks at this political crisis
And sees the horrifying truth:

They’ve taken all the primary colors.

Bless plain white Ts, bless plain black Ts.
Never paired with army fatigues.

Bless Ugandans and their oversaturated palette.
And their search for peace in hues.

Body Temple House


You move bloodless through the corridors,
making right everything that was
blown askew. You still believe it’s possible
to arrange rage. You dust
the books, plant flowers, dress the walls
with every delicate thing you own.
Nothing can slither in if you close
every door. But there’s blood
in the air. Yellow bile
seeping through the stones.

Rancid memories crawl through you,
a wildfire itching along your skin.
You pull your veins out,
thread them through the stone walls
of your house. It hums your pulse
out to the empty evening.

There are clouds pulling across the sky.
The roof creaks and stretches. Every door
flung open is a gunshot.
You can’t sleep. Not when the walls
are blooming with tender, tiny
red petals. Not when they’re whispering
secrets you never even told yourself.