Scenes of Gentrification: The Life of Memory?

(Wasn’t it Beenie Man who said
“memories don’t live like people do”?
well, whatever to my cultural contexts…)

registering change
requires a test of memories, of memory

a battle with brain
pathways, clandestine tunnels.

what was here
before?

can you remember?
can you toni morrison rememory?

loss is so easy
the victor is now—always

the challenge set before you
the duel proposed

whose blood will spill, evaporate
whose reality will spill, evaporate

whose blood will circulate
whose reality will circulate

we may pray for blood on the sidewalk
at least

Scenes of Gentrification: Sale Pending

sale pending
wavers in the breeze
a flag planted
driven into the earth
seismic ripples
ground shifts
reshapes plates
fire seeps out of newly split cracks
the reordering above
no less than
the scrape of the barnacled ship
on sand as it hits the shore
men in metal step onto land
and say
“it’s mine—i bought this—here’s the paper”
and soon, not long before they leave
the wreckage of the plunder
they have wrought, moving on
more destruction to come
they will say
“i have been here, like,
over a year now.”