Psychic Cartography

by Basie Allen

lined in palm-smear
            & ghost-breath

I stood Potiently
            in a toe willing July

with freaks who all freak
            in verbatim under the M train

                        ( in a K2 and kim-chi stained air
                                                     bodies learn to ferment )

above Kosciusko a train yawned over the already shoe sound of hip hop walking
    on back beat of New York

I saw a man take off his high hat and symbol— when a deep sway with braids. so beautiful
    car washed down the street

the braids saw me standing there and whispered a humid “HI” with a sun oil voice
    undressing out of a pour’d bottle

I tried to walk but fell face first into the braids slipping off the topple side of a teeter heavy
    decision— sliding back into a time

where soiled hands dug at the end of pivot queens weaving maps with fingers harp ready
    and bigger than spirit. their hands

swung like young girls using DNA strands to dubble dutch thru fields of wild hair—waving off
    contests of evil

this poem is for the women I saw, who during slavery, braided maps into and with each other’s hair so when they would run from plantations they always had a reference for where to find freedom and beauty Alternate title… Psychic Cartography

I saw thumbed crossovers sing
            “we can and do need each other”

Once over the other
            the other over the other

soft with praise mosaic with promise

                              I saw their hands myth into future-saluting limbs

                                                 saying thank you

                                                                     I saw women using their clairvoyance

                                                              like flash lights for the no doubt

                                                            and soon already come darkness

                                                 it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen

Basie Allen is a poet and visual artist who lives and is also is from New York City [sic]

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