Born by Lee Herrick
I was born in an ocean of poor magic near a songwriter with stories
but no maps, strung out on local wine and rice.
I was born because the magic and the birds were certain they'd seen me before.
There were no gasps or hands clapping nor arias or sobs. I was there
on the grass, a full head of black hair, eyes that asked, will you say a little more
a curiosity that became desire, then death, then desire again.
Testimony by Lee Herrick
I heard the American poet groan like his farmworker mother bent into California's central question like a rake or a comma or a death that was not a death but a rising fire or a shotgun in a wheat field.
I heard the father say to himself to hell with it before he wrote a seven page manifesto on the crimes of lemon trees whose leaves become little whispers in our dream like yellow flowers floating on a lake.
I heard anger come into the night I heard the night bring you down I heard the down say please madam I heard a woman say Hmong means free I heard freedom like kingdom.