WHAT STALKS ME
Inspired by Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Poem “The Other”
Something, or someone, stalks my dreams.
Though I have grown accustomed to it.
In my most susceptible state, I wonder what is
to blame for the unknown that combs my insomnia.
In the dimmest moments of dawn’s arrival,
I am reminded of the likeness I do not wish
to have in my possession. It seems to only appear
when I visit Mother’s tombstone, this something,
or someone, never forgetting to taunt.
For years and years, I did not see the face
of this something, or someone—until my last visit
to Mother’s grave. This something, or someone
I speak of, appears at a distance, in a torn, red
silk dress, midnight skin, and a mane of hoary.
And my tightened flesh is like the newly
tailored suit I slip into whenever
I mourn the unknown.
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel.
Excerpt from Burdens
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry.