wedgewood china

A New York Song for A Baltimore Night


I don’t want to be articulate.

I don’t want to pepper my words with facts, and citations , the meagre portents of a “ good “ one        .

I don’t want to be brilliant or charming or unique .

I run my hands over this brown skin , my lips over the brown skin of my baby cousin, my fingers over the soft but worn brown skin of my mother and

I want to be human.

I want to be the kind of human who does not whisper it to herself after every dagger thrown under this brown skin, because it does not serve someone else.

I want to be the kind of human who does not die over and over again in Baltimore, in NYC , Florida,South Carolina, Chicago.

I want to open my mouth and unfurl from my lips


And have it mean



No it’s not okay to be more worried about off brand sweet tea than the cracking curve of my spine.

No , there is no visual more important than my scream of pain.

No , this baby boy/girl/ze/zir is not the price we pay for revolution.


Do Not Give Them A Reason

besides my black skin

besides my nominal freedom

besides my sorrow
besides 800 people at the bottom of the sea.
besides crack cocaine
besides Rockefeller drug laws
besides pipelines to prison
besides death at their hands
besides death at his hands
besides Islan
beside Rekyia
besides Freddie
beside Aiyana
besides Mike
besides Trayvon


Do not give THEM a reason no matter how many you have.

Do not “call out”

Do not work for a cause and expect it to support you.

Do not write the rallying cry and expect to hear it at your back

Do not cry out in pain

Do not expect to be heard

Do not

Do not make any sound beyond the gurgle of your blood in your throat, the wail of your tears on a grave , and the grinding of your teeth into powder

If you choke on any of these to try , make sure to phrase it politely , possibly with a bon mot, a well prepared dish, and a sunny smile.

Do not call out so they can hear you

It makes people unable to ignore you .

They will fix it someday in a back room , with approved voices, good photo ops, wedgewood china , the blood will fade nicely into the carpet.

They will fix it some day.

After this generation has been underfed undereducated and over policed.
They will give a seat at a table to someone in the right pearls
who will call the ones left behind the right combo of letters and words
that say plainly “dispose of them we will not miss them”

Babies will be herded and starved and poked and prodded

They will fix it someday

So that it stands for something else so that it raises something “important” up

an ocean away from the play where this brown skin like mine withers

This person will have played the game perfectly on the cracking of bones outlining another body in chalk.


I am not articulate.

I am in love

with the momma that raised me

with his eye teeth

with her cut eye

with the shyness of zer smile

wrapped in that beautiful brown skin.

I am in rage

Wrapped in my brown skin

I am human

I just want to live.