Protest Poem

I dreamt that color was only prismatic
like oceans with blue waters and sky
a sunset darkened with hints of red and orange
that drank up the evening’s musings
and allowed the supple sun to rejoice a closing day.

Then a black body thrust out of view comes
to pain my senses and reaches deep
ripping viscera, cords, and played chords that
spun out with the splash of blood, that oozing
pink welt and sting of a mother’s switch that lashes.
Who says it is only ever out of love?
Chords, more like screams come forth that horrify and drink up
not the evening’s musings but the murderous
plight of an age, ‘post-race’, where color eases
off the tongue in exchanges with other whites
who look distantly at the shuttered moon
and admire its whiteness for it, like them,
sits within a sea of black: bemused, smiling, distant.

You are not I and I are not you, but you and I,
chanting, sings for itself a unicity that cannot
be undone or unsung and fills a void where
pain and anguish meet at the pyramidal tip
and break free from the invisible to pour out
onto the streets and engulf our bodies in sensations
that I thought I could not have, could not remember having.

But having is a feeling only privilege brings
and loss is not the ‘not-having’ because of privilege but that of
a gun against a cheekbone or flesh-piercing bullet
spinning out of an authorized violence into the light of day
and not authorized to speak, feel, cry, explore, freely that pain.
That is loss, the subhuman.
And once again I dream in color where the prism
spins to silence the disquietude and seep black
into the barbarous pit where all our dreams have gone to die
but will be resurrected with a song so sweet, so soon and just,
and no prison-like prism will contain its rage.

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