The Author is Often Mistaken for Obama’s Long Lost Son by Julian Randall

All over the news it is said
He is once in a generation
I understand this to mean
there can only be one of us
and he already is  and often
things are lost for a reason
Me and all my margin heavy
blood-loose a pack of scarlet
hounds howling at the edge of
acceptable     I want to be
what he is but I’m just barely
over the fact I can be seen at all
and the resemblance is marginal
a question of the right brilliance
a question of the hypothetical
a question of If I had a son he would
probably not look like me either
The only math I’m good at is counting
what ain’t mine       My tongue
   My hands       Faces that can be traded
for other things I can’t have  The good
silver creeping at the edge of my scalp
I steady plot the course of history
by the lengths of presidencies
sundial dictating a shadow
All I can remember about time
is what man wanted me dead then
I hear the 80’s and a hand ribboned
with blue veins raptures the choir
of hair running the length of my calves
Supple meat gone sour in the freezer
Infertile country  Lousy with stray mutts
My fugitive reflection dirtying the anthem
You look just like him    so clean  so smart
It’s Midnight in __________     In this light
he could be your father     Where your peoples
from  Yall might have split a ghost way back  
Just the spitting image       like that poor boy

The Night makes cousins of us all

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Contributor Notes

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. A Pushcart Prize nominee he has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT and the Watering Hole and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review’s Lineage of Mirrors and a poetry editor for Freezeray Magazine. He is also a cofounder of the Afrolatinx poetry collective Piel Cafe. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Nepantla, Rattle Poets Respond, Ninth Letter, Vinyl, Prairie Schooner and The Adroit Journal among others. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss.