On Jean Toomer’s Birthday
My copy of Cane is yellowed, edges
brittle from age and wear. Words used to stream
through like molten lava, now they percolate
slowly like coffee in Mama’s kitchen.
“Delete all spam messages now.” Don’t think
twice about it – don’t look back to see if
anything is worth saving – it’s all spam –
click bait to trick you into opening
your inbox to viruses you don’t need.
Words used to spill from his lips like diamonds
and fully formed pearls – but now they remain
in his head and heart awaiting new birth
and inspiration. Cane is yellow-edged
and brittle. Oracular. Deep-rooted.