Astronomy Night

You decide to turn          concede the beggar’s call.

His hair          branches growing to Khartoum. He believes

you are from Khartoum as you both stand on stones          mossy stones
pressed into earth by Portugal.

This is the consequence of roads          the false conquering of seas.
This meeting          that which is forgotten.

You have been to Khartoum          looked

at your watch as sand swirled fanatically.

A black boy makes a clock in Texas.
His wrists are swallowed by steel.

A bomb          a boy with a bomb his white teacher assumes.
Always assuming destruction.

Always attempting to destroy that which is assumed destroyer.
But who is destroyer?

The destroyed stacked in ground where we walk.

But there isn’t escape.

Perhaps the black of space          staring at black space

from the White House lawn?

A black rocket blasting into black space

from the White House lawn.
You have been to the White House          seen it through black bars.

A black boy leaves Texas          leaves America.
His father says it isn’t safe          not for his son.

Never for his son.
A rocket.

Staring at space.
Black space.

Black rocket blasting.


Meet me beneath the brocaded awning
where light cuts the iron table.
Where I’m leaning in a bamboo chair
pondering an arch’s age          how green
shoots jut from stone. The police in black
uniforms prance the cobbled center dangling rifles.
A city slow on Sunday          wanted to see it open.
Left you in the room sleeping on pale
sheets          pillows          pears on the nightstand.
Wanted to sit.
Wanted to let you wake without me to feel stillness.
Wanted you to open curtains needing
to find me          needing to walk          needing
the quiver of maybe. But you
know nearing the arch          nearing
the awning as police stare ready
to cock cold guns          arms unspool.

MYRONN HARDY is the author of four books of poems: Approaching the Center, The Headless Saints, Catastrophic Bliss, and Kingdom. He divides his time between Morocco and New York City.