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Kevin Powell

Not for Nothing

by Kevin Powell

I cannot erase all the women I’ve been with
nor can I firebomb the past and bang the ashes into my grandmother’s land
but I do understand
when you say
‘Men are just that way’
I do not want to be ‘that way’—
after tonight I feel as if
I could churn love from your muscled thighs
cop diamonds from your brown-button nipples
eat dessert
where god (her)
told the ancestors (them)
there is loneliness east of eden—
east of you is a player who
craves a tomboy with shin splints and a blood-red
chest: is that your heart, cut like a tomato, squirting
me in the eyes from behind your iron gate?
east of you is a player who
wants to atomic-bomb that gate
crawl to your bedroom roll my tongue
along the leather lining of your stomach
comb your short, metallic hair with my teeth
and, not for nothing, kiss your lips until they
overflow like the mississippi

Sunday, April 1, 2001

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