A. Van Jordan


The Flash Reverses Time

When I’ m running across the city
on the crowded streets
to home, when, in a blur,
the grass turns brown
beneath my feet, the asphalt
steams under every step
and the maple leaves sway
on the branches in my wake,
and the people look,
look in that bewildered way,
in my direction, I imagine
walking slowly into my past
among them at a pace
at which we can look one another in the eye
and begin to make changes in the future
from our memories of the past —
the bottom of a bottomless well,

“Que Sera Sera”

In my car, driving through Black Mountain,
North Carolina, I listen to what
sounds like Doris Day shooting
heroin inside Sly Stone’ s throat.

One would think that she fights
to get out, but she wants to stay
free in this skin. Fresh,
The Family Stone’ s album,

came out in ’73, but I didn’ t make sense
of it till ’76, sixth grade for me,
the Bicentennial, I got my first kiss that year,
I beat up the class bully; I was the man.