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Black Matters

By Keith Wilson

after D.H. Lawrence

shall i tell you, then, that we exist?
there came a light, blue and white careening,
the police like wailing angels
to bitter me.

and so this:
dark matter is hypothetical. know
that it cannot be seen

in the gunpowder of a flower,
in a worm that raisins on the concrete,
in a man that wills himself not to speak.

gags, oh gags.
for a shadow cannot breathe.
it deprives them of nothing. pride

is born in the black and dies in it.
i hear our shadow, low treble
of the clasping of our hands.

dark matter is invisible.
we infer it: how light bends around a black body,
and still you do not see black halos, even here,

my having told you plainly where they are.

Added: Monday, February 20, 2017  /  Wilson’s poem was awarded Third Place in the 2017 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest, sponsored by Split This Rock. Sheila Black lent her generous acumen as judge for the contest.
Keith Wilson
Photo by Ashley Ross.

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He has received three scholarships from Bread Loaf as well as scholarships from the Millay Colony, Poetry by the Sea, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Keith serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at Four Way Review and Digital Media Editor at Obsidian Journal. He holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University. Keith's poetry has been published in two chapbooks: Generation Oz (Finishing Line Press) and Kindermeal (Imaginary Friend Press). His work has appeared in a number of anthologies and has appeared or is appearing in the following journals: Crab Orchard Review, American Letters & Commentary, 32 Poems, Rhino, Anti-, Muzzle, Blueshift Journal, and Vinyl. Additionally, he has had poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award.

Other poems by this author