Playing Dead for the Summer

Bashira announced

on the last day of school

with the calmness of the perpetually battered

-unaware of what blow took her down-

she had set aflame her replica of Denmark Vesey's church

made for a 3rd grade school project

made from Michael's discounted clay

enlivened by the history of her own saliva

she had had daydreams wrapped in honeysuckle and lavender

of that little Charleston girl

with the same cornrowed patterns of hair as she

lying on Vesey's church floor,

facedown, hoisted by her own wits

playing dead to stay alive

Bashira said she would play dead for the summer

hide in the lushness of her grandmother's backyard

gated with rotted wrought iron

and wait with the watermelons and patty pan squash, sprigs of mint

and black-eyed susans on the lookout

for this hunting season to pass

Mi Sueno Vivo