Winter 1998 • Vol. XX No. 1 Poetry |

Chariots

"Like this?" I ask her, fast forwarding to the chariot scene; "Is this what you're waiting for?" Swing low! Ben Hur she will watch. I wait with her, watching kernels in the hot air popper succeed. What was inside: feelings, attitudes, identity; all blossomed so there were fireworks. At bedside: King James's version, a thick chariot ticket. She loves that English, the godliness of its high tone, higher than what man can do with a tongue. "King James," I point out. She said the chariot was coming as she put on a shawl to get a feel for wings. She doesn't ask if I want to go. In the heat, our hair reverts, silk to lamb's wool of the apocalypse. "Like this?" I ask again; "You have to be sure of what you're getting into." A Jamaican man apologized to me because he was a foreigner who did not know English, he said in English, only the universal opening of the door of his Mustang when he pulled up to the curb and saw how badly I needed a descendant that could claim royal

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"Like this?" I ask her, fast forwarding to the chariot scene; "Is this what you're waiting for?" Swing low! Ben Hur she will watch. I wait with her, watching kernels […]

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