®

Today's poem is by Aziza Barnes

the mutt as mudbone
        This is the last time y'all will see Mudbone,
                                — Richard Pryor, Live at the Sunset Strip

They done played me out. Done played me
out again. They done played me

For a Fool. My Mama done raised A Played
Out Me. They done me in

& out I go The door to my Mama house
close. Close, They love with condition. They need me

to play The Fool. My condition:
played. They scream me out, I

done gone. Already gone, I stay. Played.
A scream. The game is a playa, whole &

undone: he never gone & the points hold measure.
My Mama done the seams & sold my

play over the other side of tomorrow I can't see. See me
a measure done & stayed. A handle ready for pour. More

of me: see. See? The Fool & no clothes. Naked & The Fool
me. Me. Done raised a condition. Need. Never whole

& done out. The points ready for scream. A need:
Tomorrow's Other Side. A promise without seams. More

naked & I can't stay gone. Out of need a played game
over & over. Beg my Mama done out of me. Raised

her rent & naked I step out again. The scream. Walk
back no shoes to a night without pour. The Fool &

his Mama: a need played & handled. Measure done
of seam. Ready? They scream for me & I pull my

hem. Scream and I play The Need. Barefoot & fooled.



Copyright © 2016 Aziza Barnes All rights reserved
from i be, but i ain't
YesYes Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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