Two Poems by Ariono’-jovan Labu’

After the Bombs

Plateaus of collapsed- culverts
& torn asphalt,
canyon-sized potholes
filled iron shrubbery.

Moans of the wounded
flood the air as if wind
well after the ambush, city
leveled like Sodom & Gomorrah.

Created a toxic desert
corpses/    flies/    buzzards
& named it

Price of Blackness

Could have been mistaken
the hired hand
my nephew’s
deep purple hue.
That blue- black complexion
of bruised eggplant
half-past midnight,
skin of scorched shade,
catfish mossy lips
jack ‘O’ lantern smile
& fertilized head
of taco meat like
Cha-  Cha-  Cha-  Chia.

Sometimes Estacio
didn’t get respect he deserved.
              Once on the L train
after school let out
this well off piss stained
chubby mulatto kid,
sparkling- sapphire eyes
hair silkier than Charlotte’s Web
glittering sun rings & neck charms
got to clowning
                    ‘round like Bozo-
made Estacio open target
his humor the dirty- dozens.

“What kind Adidas got two stripes?

          Could probably chuck a spear
back to Africa-

Look like he was born in a clogged toilet!”

Cab erupted in laughter,
kids bent over clutching stomachs
begging for breath
                  fighting back tears.
My nephew leaped froggishly-
quickly closed distance/ opportunity.
Pretty little bastard
couldn’t been but twelve-
maybe thirteen. My nephew
just made nine, reached back
threw a facial heavyweight- hay maker,
one- two hummingbird combo
sweet boy’s midsection.

Bloated little punk
soft as wet tissue
staggered four rows down aisle,
frantically bailed the next exit
without back pack eyes
gushing cracked reservoirs.
Midas well wore a skirt-
                 spoiled little brat
got every bit he deserved.
You know… Kind of kid
who couldn’t spar with knuckles
to save their soul, yet
always exercised taunting heaps
of macho-mouthpiece &
Russian Roulette.

Ariono’-jovan Labu’