Today's poem is by Kara Candito

Monologue During A Blackout

      What about zebra?—suppose
you had to come back as a zebra,
      knowing you'd spend your life
                trampling the savannah with the desperation
      of an Open During Construction sign?

      Once, stepping off a plane
onto the blacktop of an ancient city
      where my father was born,
                I smelled burning garbage and understood
      anything can happen, Often,

      it doesn't. The rain stops. We are not
washed away. I do not
      glide down five black flights
                to greet the electric truck. But when
      the air conditioner aches on again, how
blunt, how exquisite. No, I don't
want to be famous. Yes, the radio—
                a man with the voice of a woman sings
      about a woman. The sky,

      you said, is darker now. Would you
call white a bright cobor? Would you
      like Bach better through headphones?—
                I mean the seismic privacy of tiny, angry

      gods beating your middle ear. I mean

      to make you dizzy. Here,
run your thumb along my chin
      while two workers shimmy down
                a high voltage poll and everything
      that can pass between two people—
pleasure, shock, surveillance—
      the static of it—private or public—draws shut
                like curtains across a first class cabin.

      What I thought in the dark,
forget it. A group of zebras is called
      a harem. We call them black.
                We call them white.

Copyright © 2014 Kara Candito All rights reserved
from Jubilat
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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