our tragedy begins humid.
in a humid classroom.
with a humid text book. breaking into us.
stealing us from ourselves.
one poem. at a time.
it begins with shakespeare.
the hot wash.
the cool acid. of
dead white men and women. people.
each one a storm.
crashing. into our young houses.
making us islands. easy isolations.
until we are so beleaguered and
with a definition of poetry that is white skin and
that we tuck our scalding. our soreness.
behind ourselves and
as trauma. as violence. as erasure.
another place we do not exist.
another form of exile
where we should praise. honor. our own starvation.
the little bits of langston. phyllis wheatley.
angelou during black history month. are the crumbs. are the minor boats.
that give us slight rest.
to be waterdrugged into rejecting the nuances of
my own bursting
and to have
to take my name out of my name.
out of where my native poetry lives. in me.
replace it with keats. browning. dickson. wolf. joyce. wilde. wolfe. plath. bronte. hemingway. hughes. byron. frost. cummings. kipling. poe. austen. whitman. blake. longfellow. wordsworth. duffy. twain. emerson. yeats. tennyson. auden. thoreau. chaucer. thomas. raliegh. marlowe. burns. shelley. carroll. elliot…
(what is the necessity of a black child being this high off of whiteness.)
and so. we are here. brown babies. worshipping. feeding. the glutton that is white literature. even after it dies.
(years later. the conclusion:
shakespeare is relative.
white literature is relative.
that we are force fed the meat of ”
that our bodies will not recognize. as inherent nutrition.
is not relative.