January 23, 2010

Katy Richey

A GUIDE FOR BLACK AND WHITE CROSSING

The hardest part about
being a zebra
is crossing the river.

Quick or slow,
dip a hoof or plunge it in—
the result is the same.

One way is to set yourself at the edge.
Don’t charade or face pose, simply giraffe your neck,
keep your head tortoised and pinching,

flex your haunches and believe.
Believe you are meant to be wet.
No predator dares taste the reconciled.

Presume the current is fortuned
to carry you. Know this is only travel—
That the water is better off for each striped swirl of you.

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009
Tribute to African American Poets

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