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Yusef Komunyakaa
Ode to the Ego


A 221fter unmasking, you strip naked

& become what you've always been.

You hide in a hovel on a burnished throne

before crawling into bed,

though you've been accursed to loving

the louse, cockroach, bird of prey,

& the bag woman on the corner of Eighth

& Broadway.  Now, you linger at a high window

gazing out toward unblinking city stars.

Grandmaster of the id, switcheroo, & spades,

the smell of collard greens & okra

can still draw you out of a blue funk,

into ecstasy, till you are a go-between

walking two paths along the river Styx.

If you still have any claim on the shadow

I cast among mountainous silences,

I bet you're hurting again to become

a red-green rooster in a twilit pepper tree,

an archduke waiting for the ball to begin,

for the flutes & drumsticks to strike up

a slow pandemonium.   


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  Dublin Poetry Review: Éigse Átha Cliath


                                                                                        Section 1 ~ Issue 21a