19 01 22

For Fred

Whatever your name, whatever
Your beef, I read you like I
Read a book
You would gut a nursery
To make the papers, like
Medusa your Poster Queen
You murder children
With no father’s consent

You map your treachery shrewdly,
A computer
Click clicking
As it tracks a ship
Headed for the Unknown
Making complex maneuvers
Before splashing down into
Mystery

Suppose everyone wanted it their
Way, traffic would be bottled up
The Horsemen couldn’t come
There would be no beauty, no radio
No one could hear your monologues
Without drums or chorus
In which you are right
And others, shadows, snatching things

Fate, The Gods, A Jinx, The Ruling Class
Taboo, everything but you
All the while you so helpless
So charming, so innocent
Crossed your legs and the lawyer
Muttered, dropped your hankie
And the judges stuttered

You forgot one thing though, thief
Leaving a silver earring at the
Scene of a house you’ve pilfered
You will trip up somewhere
And the case will be closed

Standup Antigone,
The jury finds you guilty
Antigone, may the Eater
Of The Dead savor your heart
You wrong girl, you wrong
Antigone, you dead, wrong
Antigone, this is it

Your hair will turn white overnight

« Antigone, This Is It »
Chattanooga
Random House 1973
p. 29–30
first published in Black World, sept. 1973