Pharoah Sanders

by Jonathan Moody

Pharoah is a man of large spiritual reservoir.
He’s always trying to reach out to truth.

                 —John Coltrane

The saxophone’s
an ankh shielding
your chest. But there’s
no fusillade of boos.
I’m a valve caught
between cracked
palm & idioms—
the first quarter,
a ball of fire;
second quarter,
pyramids erect;
the third one
is kente cloth woven
across hemispheres;
the fourth, a vase filled
with formaldehyde.
The scale seesaws
bearing the weight
of your intestines.
Your shrieks,
intersecting with
with a goddess’ guttural
scream. At this
moment, some mother
in Arkansas realizes
her son is just knocked
out & ambles
away from the crib
twisting caps back
on calcium carbonate—
your horn’s vibrato
breaks all ten chains
clinging to your soul.