Aaron and A City Without Hands

after watching
heston part the
red sea for the
first time
my brother ran
to his room
and pulled the
blanket from
his bed
he stood in the
doorway proudly
himself moses
he was the
oldest so what
he said was law
for my sister
and i
later that night
while my brother
slept i crawled
into his bed and
picked the lint
from his hair

A City Without Hands

(for RV)
The day begins in a city without hands.
I walk to the market and find your name
among the apples, oranges, and other sweet
things I love.
I place your name on the tip of my tongue
and it rests on the scale in my mouth,
and to speak of you
is the only way to taste poetry.

E. ETHELBERT MILLER is director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University in Washington, D.C. His newest collection of poems is First Light (Black Classic Press, 1994), and he is editor of the anthology In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1994).

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1995
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