Gyroscope Review 15-1 - Page 22

Follow Him by Rikki Santer for Stephen Bishop (1821-1857), lead explorer and guide to Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave Antebellum paradox. The mixing of bloods didn’t free you but your subterranean prowess your stealthy handholds traversed unknown depths and keyhole orifices like Kafka in his burrow. The miles gave you momentary relief. If you could, would you burst through the milky membrane and miles of connected veins you sketched from memory, topography stitched through your bones. Your of history like the showman you were to claim the libretto of your life: puppeteer and puppet. bold byline when published, but Master reaped the royalties and altered your place names to suit Slave with a lantern, sweet talker with harmony on your tongue-the bitterness of the South, his own. Screech owl your turntable, wrens scat copacetic and generations still follow you. Union soldier’s tomb and the honey dream of Liberia. They followed you in your slouch hat, the white elite in their long stone repurposed for you years later as a moon-eyed afterthought like the soot-etched autographs skirts, starched shirts, through a bonanza of labyrinths—no neat set of steps but corkscrew paths you left on damp cave walls marking the theater of your inheritance, of your cage. of sideshow thrills. They followed you trying the dark and your blood paths. Tapestries of sound—your call and response in echo chambers, your gospel sing-alongs floating atop underground rivers, then salvation in midnight grace notes whispered moist in your Charlotte’s ear. Keen as those eyeless fish Gyroscope Review 21 !