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In Louisville, from a sidewalk-
turned-sideline on West Broadway,
I catch my beloved,
absent for weeks now,
leading a cortège of Chevelles through the chaos
of revelers, as earlier that day the children
led their handmade floats around a grade-school
Derby parade. As he comes toward me,
so too does a throat-dark woman
carrying past the scent of coconut,
her naked breasts glisten, slick
as the skin of his convertible coupe.
My eyes—lit up at him—know
why he chooses this very spot to turn
the chain of revving beasts
through a slow U:
picture the Nian at New Year,
now, his headlights flooding across
my red velour Rocawear dress
& for a moment you can see
I am the one. Rumor has it the beast's weakness
is an aversion to loud noises,
fear of the color red.
We are all too familiar with this combination,
myths that we are. Even this night
on the main thoroughfare of River City, splitting our side
in two, a few of us will become
legend. I hear a girl say there he is—my lover
who is also her lover, I see. I watch
a boy dance with sharp & ancient movements
to Lil' Boosie on the roof of an old Buick.
Someone' daddy calling out Redbone to me
from behind a pit, thick with smoke
& the end of an animal. The tail
of the monster that keeps him from me, always
out of reach, whips away & evanesces
at the bend on 18th street.