A Fraternity of Skeletons

There is a garden of calm skeletons,
At the bottom of the Atlantic,
Bleached now in seafaring serenity,
A fraternity of skeletons
Held down by limestone luggage,
Skulls with deeper sockets,
Higher cheek bones,
Permanent smiles.
There is a keepsake gold dagger that fell in by error,
And a three-hole button that baths in rib cages,
There are cowries and timber crucifixes,
With little bleeding Jesus’,
And tiny figurines of Amadiohas,
And Obatalas,
There are unfitting Igboid prayers and oaths too,trapped.
There are lifeless deities sprinkled on that ocean floor,
There are fly-fishes well-fed on cousins and namesakes,
And a parchment paper under light in a Louisiana glass museum,
There is the rusty bell on Port Tobacco ranch,
You ring once to appease,
Twice, when one escapes.
There is a bloodied Gideon’s bible
Wrapped in unoffending light.
There are white faces behind cameras.
There is a dawn so unknowable,
Made better still,
By the polished champions of our fast todays,
Those who would never know the tax of fine liberty.
They stand among us.