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Not Even a Nina Simone Hymn Can Perform Magic Tricks

Tires brake on a velvet road so there is not a screech, but rather a rustle like fall leaves humping. A body flies through waterfall windows, so there is no shattering just splattering & a soft land that hardly knocks the wind from caged lungs. When it is all said & done, you can easily resurrect, hair drenched & walk back to the car drowning in the smoke of Nina Simone tones with only a bruise growing on your shoulder blade like a birthmark, X-marking the spot for you—later.

Later, it will be moonless & Nina won’t be playing, so nothing is velvet & the window is a window that if broken will shatter knives & lies. This time it’s not a crash, it’s a pullover for a taillight that you forgot to get fixed. It’s a pullover for an air freshener that keeps the weed smell at bay. It’s a pullover & it’s a man in a uniform that is anything but velvet that holds your voice in the eight-foot-deep coffin of his mouth for—later.

Later, there is a coffin with your limpness inside being lowered into the ground because you reached for a registration & in the moonless night your hand was so dark the uniform mistook it for a gun. & because he knew you had trouble in your skin, he shot once into your shoulder blade making you fall forward hitting play & Nina turned on (accidentally). The bullet didn’t want to be in your body it wanted to be in in the velvet air holding Nina’s voice, so it went all the way through (apologizing on the exit) kissing every organ, begging them to heal—later.

Later the mortician played Nina while sewing closed the tiny entry wound & screaming exit hole. Later they play Nina Simone while showing photos on a projector screen. People hold fistfuls of tears. You can’t hold a fistful of tears. You can’t hold thousands of names—they fall through your fingers Sinfully softly like the sound of a velvet voice—crumbling on the asphalt—like a miracle making a full stop, the Red Sea crashing without apology.