God Sends Love Disguised As Ordinary People

We never quite could tell
strength from stupidity
pride in perseverance
the point where stubbornness
purchased a harvest
of futility

If the body has forgotten
how to sleep
what chance has thought
to teach its subtleties
like tenderness or faith

All that could matter
is the reciprocating
want of flesh
wordless and beyond translation
to idea or category
nothing numerical
and yet not boundless either
nothing so grand or abstract

In other words we were not brutes
for lack of feeling
nor sorrowful in spiteful isolation
not lonely yet
but damaged by avoiding touch
being only smart enough to trust
that there’s some gifted outcast family somewhere
that true po griot as jali as entertainers
that still performs the music we need
to reconnect our feet to dirt
to fling our arms like windmills spinning
in dusted twilights

The point being
not that you beat yourself up
appreciating what so and so has done for you
but that you finally remember
you’ve been her gypsy too

To those of you in desperate need
of love and money
there is no matter who or where you are
never enough

Of careful prayers and measured want
the world has taught each generation
how to lose

Of what I’ve learned from hands
that don’t know what they’re doing
people who ignorantly think
pain is ‘a part of life’
get plenty of it

What ice can’t soothe
eventually needs fire
and finally

© Lorenzo Thomas, from Dancing In The Street (Coffee House Press, 2004)

2 Responses to “God Sends Love Disguised As Ordinary People”
  1. Angel says:

    Really thought provoking poems…

    I like the last stanza.

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