Warren's poems online:








Nagueyalti Warren




Summer finds her pregnant again

heat rash zigzags her long neck.


She sings a lullaby to Yoki who gurgles

fat fingers find her baby teeth.


Martin for dinner is late again.

Cabbage and pork chops wait.


Her lemon pie runs, the yellow kitchen

steams like the southern sun, a spotless spot .


Walter Cronkite drones on the black

and white then,


thunder not from clouds but crowds

of white not rain but insane hate


and fear. Through smoke she sees

her willow blue vase—grand heirloom—


shattered in the rubble of the picture

window blown to tiny fragments.


She watches him rush to her side

she whispers, dinner is ruined.





Black people come with guns and bats.

Men are prepared to strike back.

His hand halts them, says don't go so low.


They pray through clenched teeth

and the armed black men don't go

away. They board up the plate glass window

hole and sit firearms ready on the porch.





In their room he rocks her to sleep.

She dreams of a pink sand beach


where gulls glide on a turquoise sea.


In the dream she promises him

to always keep the peace.





Laughter.  On the balcony,

mirth erupts from his settled soul.

Satisfied, loved, loving,

brothers break bread,

crack jokes--spring

on each pea-green sprout--

tiny clouds like balloons pop,

at dusk, pop, pop. He falls

laughter choked,

in his throat rising blood.