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from “black becomes woman”

July 5, 1994

the vast field in silence
after the big top has disappeared
in a night when clowns & midgets
project elongated shadows by the antique kerosene lamp
inside the compressed trailer saturated with clown paraphernalia

                                    you appear there
                                    in the ocean field silence a black woman
                                    in a moonlit night stillness
                                    while acrobats sleep the elephants sleep
                                    the juggling chinese lady sleeps

& one trailer carrying the dormant midgets & clowns
starts its journey under a heavy rain
to the next field in the next town
& denny at the wheel talks to me of how he was rejected
by the beautiful trapeze woman

                                    while he drives the rusty truck
                                    rain splashes at my feet
                                    the moon hiding in clouds
                                    your black figure deeper than night is                       
                                    is the vision of the sleeping clown inside the trailer

before twilight reveals
the next field in another town
when the clown will sit in the next tent waiting
for the music signal
to enter the crowd to perform the routine act

                                    the elephant’s entrance majestically will follow
                                    carrying millennia memory in the arena
                                    away from poachers hunting for his life
                                    severing he nearly extinct precious ivory tusks
                                    & in his memory imprinted your primeval black

the night the moon escaped inside the clouds
after the big top was disassembled & gone
when all the last lights had died out
& what was the circus is now a silence
your black & night resonating still in the silent field