May I never be afraid

especially of myself


Muhammed Ali are you telling

the truth?

Well you’re being true aren’t you and

you talk so wonderfully in your body

that protects you with physique of voice

raps within dance

May I never be afraid

rocked and quaked

the mantilla is lace

whose black is oak

But if I’m dark I’m strong

as my own darkness

my strength the universe

whose blackness is air

only starry


But if I’m alive I’m strong

as life

Strong as the violets

in Marlon Brando’s fist

his dissemblance flourished into truth


took them

I’d take me too

I do

and my Ali I see you

a hard bright speck of me

the savage formalist

authentic deed of gossip

a kind body.

Copyright ©: 
Alice Notley


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