By Kwame Dawes
In every crowd, there is the one
with horns, casually moving through
the bodies as if this is the living
room of a creature with horns,
a long cloak and the song of tongues
on the lips of the body. To see
the horns, one’s heart rate must
reach one hundred and seventy
five beats per minute, at a rate
faster than the blink of an eye,
for the body with horns lives
in the space between the blink
and light — slow down the blink
and somewhere in the white space
between sight and sightlessness
is twilight, and in that place,
that gap, the stop-time, the horn-
headed creatures appear,
spinning, dancing, strolling
through the crowd; and in the
fever of revelation, you will
understand why the shaman
is filled with the hubris
of creation, why the healer
forgets herself and feels like
angels about to take flight.
My head throbs under
the mosquito mesh, the drums
do not stop through the night,
the one with horns feeds
me sour porridge and nuts
and sways, Welcome, welcome.
Source: Poetry (February 2016)
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sometimes I strain