without the protection of ten stone-cold knuckles.
Without a blade that retracts as an apology for what it’s done.
Without a gun for the bullet’s soliloquy and a magnet in your head.
But if you come without, come play witness. Happen on the fact that solar
eclipse happens upon us everyday; the night just yawns here, swallows
many: black boys, black girls – FLY –
wearing gold chains and charms that don’t flash in your eye quite
like holy light, more like a highlight ran blonde
through natural black hair, but man, keep your hands
out the hair of all these women ‘round here!
Control that jungle fever, girl!
Best not come here with only your midnight hunger,
mouth watering for low-hanging fruit of the loom, swinging.
Nestled on the branches all up and through here
are the fathers you said we didn’t have: tarred-and-feathered
angels we try good and never to forget, proven so soft
while they were being broken by gravity,
snapped off the family tree
at the snap of a neck
at the snap of a finger.
Oh my sweet Jesus the way you love us!
Kissing boots to the back of our necks, and that’s just
the minster, doing missionary work,
trying to save us from the judge.
And now, in every house in every skin cell,
Panthers peek through the blinds, rifles ready for riot,
waiting for them fools to come and try to get them.
Them fools might be you, and the coldest sweat down my cheek
is that you can’t comprehend the meaning of your own coming:
the coded threat, imply of going pale, our fearing
your fear of us, typical roles reversed one rotation more as must be done
with mirrors made of distorted history;
my blood is mostly water that can’t help but show your reflection:
pristine teeth, smiling – the makings of a hemo-goblin.
Photo by Nicholas Michaud