TWO POEMS by Tommye Blount

/ / Featured Poetry, Poetry
Tommye Blount headshot

Negro Under Glass

The stream, the riverine ticker under the talking heads
on six o’clock news; the head looped
through the light’s noose; captured, an apprehension

in high definition; their latest high, their timely, their watch face 
tick-tocking; an aped choreography, Miss In

Formation’s crazed dance gone viral; the plague of black
squares checkering photo grids; game for their boredom,
the disembodied voice boring through lips; the voice—whew,

chile, the ghetto, the get low, the drop it low download;
their pinched curiosity, swiped marvel, the double-tapped untapped 

oddity—this girl of a galaxy in a pop-cap sized lens, foamy Venus: 
waking in a sea gone dark; in a theater, under fogged glass, 
under the weight, gauze of long breath in calculation of her breadth; 

on the shelf above and under her; under the hooded white eye
—erect, lit—all under the tight lid of a tiny clouded jar.



Robe and Helmet Bag

                             Made of waterproof rubberoid material. Separate compartments
                             for robe and helmet. Price, each $1.00 
Catalogue of Official Robes and Banners
                                                       Knights of the Ku Klux Klan


So many of you search unguardedly inside me 
to remove what’s needed in order 
to put everything back. Sweaty as surgeons, 
I see your faces as you open me up,
once you’ve returned with every finger
unclasped from the fist of your bright winged savior. 
Let me lord over—skirted justices, this mucked 
land’s cloaked custodians—your ironed wrinkles, 
your blued whites. All your bleached 
flags, I’ll surrender to no one, no foreign element—
that which, left unchecked, would leave a colored mess 
bleeding over all that labor, all those wifely fingers, 
the seams through which they leave and enter,
marrying one white yard to another white yard. 
Over every darkened threshold, carry me 
with you, purity’s patrolmen, lift me up 
with your clean hands. Clasp me close
with this fastener’s badge. Of your nation’s fabric,
I promise to protect and serve.