Blackness is innovation on a received form.
—DAWN LUNDY MARTIN
The nerve of you, to think you could vesper
hogs’ hooves into feast. That hymns
could be coaxed into hip hop. That wool
would kink & rope & lock into something
resembling God. That you could stand
the lash or the late shift without
wilting, spirit legacy from the spaces
between the words, speak in a voice
that booms, not breaks. Hope. Fix
your face to smile like your teeth
wasn’t butter yellow. Be better
than bitter. Be roiling in joy. Be.