All My Heroes Were Assassinated


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All My Heroes

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I woke up in Africa


and could not tell if I had ever been born. I walked

beside my ancestor in the bush and she became


a Shining Blue Kingfisher.  She flew onto a branch,

turned her head, opened her pointed beak,

looked through me and flew away.  I picked up a dazzling

feather and placed it in the tangle of my nappy roots.


I sucked sugar from a cane and spit out the splinters

of the middle passage.  A goat said to me,


Though we all bear resemblance, we are all known by name.

I stared past the shea trees as the sun shivered.

I spoke with a sheep. She told me how the world

once ended.  On that great day, she said, gun powder;

then nudged me towards the edge of the ocean, told me,

When you get to the other side, you will never be the same.