Lucille's Roaches

Cameron Awkward-Rich

After Lucille Clifton

O winged walker,
motley brood
& brood underneath
the underneath. You,
formidable residual,
derelict carried
to this country
by the dread Atlantic
wind. What did you see
to make but yourself
& yourself? Foul
architect, teeming Queen
of rot. Whereas you
survive. Whereas your death
is an industry. Whereas
on the television
in this century
of television
a woman wears you
as a living jewel,
rubied carapace
on a gold leash.
Whereas beauty
was never meant
to be your name—
O harbinger
of harbingers.
O little, unending night.
Whereas murder, too,
was never right—
they’re just a sound
for what we do
to the dark. O
a sound I fear
is the only sound
I know.

Last updated November 07, 2022