Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, March 8, 2013


The old woman who slid the pan
of cookies into my brain's oven
never came back. The cookies
turned into black dots that float
across my vision. I reek of burnt
dough. I lie on my side like a

buffalo who's reading Hegel
on a parched Kansas plain.
Invisible merchants empty
microscopic vats of hot slime
on my neck, my forehead.
A thin woman with cold fingers
practices scales on my spine.

A chorus of angelic rats
prevents me from nodding off.
I raise on hand as if
to conduct their performance,
and I pass out.

hans ostrom 2013
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