Plum Street, Detroit, 1967
There was a bell around the neck
of the black man’s blonde girlfriend.
They were hippies, wildflowers.
They moved like animals, like gods.
I saw her pale hand in his dark one,
the stripe of their coupled fingers.
I had never heard of napalm or Martin Luther King.
I had no word for how they looked at one another.
In July the riots broke out.
I was sent away, that bell around my neck
Dictionary Definition of Marian Anderson
Two dates, one photo,
a word and a half:
The rest left out
to conserve space.
She scans the cast and finds her name
in a dim hall in a green room.
Scales of music float like torn wallpaper
behind the asbestos curtain.
She puts the cup to her lips—
my heart’s subdu’d.
Imagines herself a moth of peace.