Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Microdream // Grey

A black man asks me for money
So he can buy a fish sandwich from Captain D's
With a practiced tone I respond

"I'm sorry dude, but I have no cash on me."

In spite of his hunger
Or because of it
He lashes out
To provide a criticism
Often heard
And never forgotten

"You sound just like one of those white boys."

He walks off
As my beautiful, ugly body
Wilts in the dusky, summer heat
Torn between this world of black and white
With a voice white as snow
And skin as black as ash
I walk back to the bars
Down the grey, forgotten corridor
Between identity and isolation

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Confederate Comparison (Elegy for Three)

We are gathered here today
To reflect on the cognitive dissonance
that allowed a flag the benefit of
the doubt not afforded to black lives
The benefit of being judged for the
content of its character and not
the color of its fabric.

Its permutation of red, white, and blue
Is a gross misrepresentation of the subdued
heritage stitched into its cloth.
A legacy of Negro men and women
whose black skin baked like Confederate clay
in the Georgia heat as they picked the cotton
That financed the Southern pride that
That flag clings to.

See what we have here
Is an example of a history
That has been weaponized
A stretching of the truth
A narrative that has been bent
Into a convenient badge of honor
To the deny the horror of its origin.

I can assure you
That the last exhalation of breath
That carried Eric Garner
From this world to the next
Drifted into the wind
That allows that flag to fly
So freely over your
state capitols, your churches,
And in the back of pickup trucks
Like a tacky souvenir
That you should have never
Bought in the first place.

I can assure you
That while Freddie Gray's spine
Was severed from his body
That flag was standing tall and proud
Supported by the stubborn rhetoric
That the war was about the states' right to choose.
How convenient then that that same bullshit rhetoric
Forgets or ignores what the states were choosing
in the first place.
The right to dehumanize and an enslave
An entire race of people.

But I guess
When your skin is the same color
As the skin that baked in that Georgia heat
The same color as the skin whose fingers picked
that cotton.
You are not allowed the luxury of forgetting
or the privilege of ignoring.
Not allowed the benefit of the doubt
to be judged by the content of your character.