(poem for norman)

mani sul viso

i sat in my room
alone, with the chatterbox blues
talking the day away
with my invisible friend

mother, passing the door asked
who you talking to?

norman, mama … just norman

she knew
of fat bearded white men
in december
beautiful bunnies
in april
witches, ghouls, and goblins
in october
and good intentions
fixed up in fantasy

but she would not know norman
for fear i might be touched

norman broke it, hid it, moved it
marked it, missed it, ate it, bent it, tossed it

he was a revolutionary soul who lived
to break every rule and bend belief
a mind mender for me
in the lost world of what is and what ain’t

norman lived like thread
stitching together the seams of everything
binding me in the absence
of healing hands

she said

you gon’ stop sittin round here
talkin’ bout a damned norman
ain’t no normal children
talkin’ to invisible friends like a fool.
folks gon think you slow

now come on!
we got to get to the lord’s house.

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