by Quenton Baker

Some [stars] are there but some burned out
ten thousand years ago…You see memories.

-Anne Carson

We built gods
real slick-smooth
big god-looks
on that stage
big god-breath
big god-sweat
the bass pumped
like priest-shrieks
like pure ghost
had climbed up
in church hat
in blue dress
the pews full
but none sat
in god’s house
the fake dark
the track lights
the sound man
he’s drunk but
we’re gods
we built us
this big sound
this black shit
the trunk-thump
of raw truth
we built us
we bang drums
we sing loud
we’re break beats
we’re hands up!
the whole crowd
is white-faced
but who cares
you paid ten
but so what
your head nods
for my beats
your arms up
for my words
your drunk dap
for my fist
your drunk lips
for my lips
your scrunched fives
for my wax
your drunk love
in drunk eyes
for my swag
for my steez
that I know
is dead light.

Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. He is a 2015-16 Made at Hugo House fellow and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. His chapbook Diglossic in the Second America came out from Punch Press in 2015.