Donny Hathaway

1945–1979

listening to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

Lingering at the edge
of want, grasping how,
clawing, gripping again,
then leaping, spread-winged,
shape of wail, taking yes
to good night. Rivering,
ghosting in a slow-drag:
churching gravity. Praise
armed to hold bones, larynx
of soldered gold, soldier
for the blues coup, heaven
flung, for what’s coursing out.
Past the plunge of need, of we,
when salt-throat bears all
to the blood of undone.


from Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree Press, 2010), © Christian Campbell 2010, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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