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~after Herman "Sun Ra" Blount and

Ralpho Waldo Ellison, with thanks to 

E. Patrick Johnson and Sharon P. Holland


A man is a woman inside

Waiting to come home.

A man inside a woman is

A mother-of-pearl, a wading

Handmaiden, inside a man

Made prison, prism of light.

At the end of that tunnel: new birth.

New berth? Tunnel to that end,

Light the prism, prison-break

Everyman’s woe. Inside

Every man lies.       The seed of

Mother’s tears         petaled, pearled.

Seven weeks whole. Wonderfully

She. Made us a beauty. Inside.

Ussin. Us/sin. Us>sin. Us>skin.

Us skin & sin less & iridescent.

All spirit, no shade, no shame.

Liminal. Limn it all. One nation

Undone. <Godless. Now what?

O Amma, may I eye inside

The we we was. Decode

The cipher we forgot: To Whom

It May Concern, Keep This Nigger-boy Running.

O woe man-cum-woman hater,

O nacre, O negus, never a nigger,

Cry out & She will rise. Inside us.

She’s waiting, black (wo)man,

Stop running. Come home.     



"L. Lamar Wilson reinvents the memoir in verse with the tour de force of his Sacrilegion."


                            —A. Van Jordan



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