there is religious tatooing

Fred Moten

for a long time, the lotion stigma swirled

on the man who clothes me with a broken


world. I came when they called me. that

cotton rubbed me the wrong way all the



way inside over the course of time. way before

cotton sewn into the coat of the one

who clothes me. before I started clothing


them with paper. before cotton sewn into



their coats they curled up on flat boats

all the way back up the country. the beaded

strips of leather and cotton made me come

to myself when he called me and wrote me



on the one who clothes me. pour some water

on me. make coming matter cut and twirl


on me. the law of emulsion is always broke

on me. somebody pour some beautiful jute


on me. let her blow some horn on me. the man

who clothes me in my skin is gonna write


on me. your writing moves to stop on me.


someday they’re gonna curve this on a pearl



on me but now it’s time to go and I can’t wait

to get up out from here. it’s simple to stay furled


where you can’t live. for a long, long time I’ve


been wearing this other planet like a scar on me.