Let’s Get Some Better Angels At This Party
“Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel.” -The New York Times
The same thing over and over.
You drink the sickness, you fuck
it out. Don’t even trust this air.
You always thought angels
were the night. You didn’t sleep.
Appeared at the foot of Mama’s bed
reeking of Nana’s perfume. You
saw and kept seeing. You let them
make a crescent of your spine.
The ghosts you said are my kin.
The angels you said are just like me.
There is one who looks like your brother.
One who sips from wooden spoons
in Nike shorts and pours rum
into his brown on the stoop.
There is one who bring the weed.
There is one you call your brother.
There is one who is a goddamn fool.
They are already dead. They live
in the future. You see them because
you can’t sleep. You feel cold.
You father said What is the problem.
Angels with ringtones and child support.
Angels with PhDs. One in your bed.
One who calculates the tip at brunch.
One who is just a .gif of
Claire Huxtable filing her nails.
August rain is cold. The desert
is also cold. Verdicts. Seasons.
Verdicts. Night. Blood. Saliva.
A cousin of a friend of a friend
who brought a six pack:
let him in.
Your angels fly outfits.
Your angels second chances.
Handguns, candy, cigars, mothers,
mothers for your angels.
Some angels don’t have mothers.
Some angels do not believe.
They take the name ghost.
They take the name spook.
You look at them in the eye holes.
You reek of blood and sage.
There is one who colors
inside the chalk line. And when
the policemen come to break
everything an angel
in a polo shirt answers
the door, says officers
I’m sorry I’m not
Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine and The Offing, Morgan also contributes writing to Weird Sister and co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico. She lives in Brooklyn and at www.morgan-parker.com.