This time is different
unlike the peaceful, pragmatic
vision and
version
brought to you by Martin,
this time will be different.
Do you know how it feels
to be Black in America?
to wake up Black
in a world marked
by racists
like a rabid dog’s piss on a tree?
Now the hoods aren’t
needed
and my second amendment rights
are NOT the same as yours.
I have the right to be
shot down by the very
person sworn to protect
me
because,
I was born black in America.
But, I’m not Martin.
I’m paying attention.

I hear your calls
no longer hidden in the night
no longer fearing decency.
I feel your blows
no longer striking from a distance
no longer fearing humanity.
I know your rage
no longer hindering your words
no longer taming your hate.
But, I’m not Martin.

I will answer your calls
with words and battle cries of my own.
I will take your blows
as long as mine strike you hardest
and last.
I am the rage
no longer hidden by the false
security society created.
I am the monster your daddy told you to fear
the dually-educated
fervently vocal
and unabashedly proud
Black woman threaded so intricately
into the pattern of
your society
that to pull my string
would unravel this world.
The edges are frayed because
I’m not Martin.
Know that hate you feel
made me who I am
at this very moment.

Now,
let me return the favor.

Say bye to Martin as you welcome
Stokely,
Fred,
Marcus,
Malcolm,
and Angela.

This time, we will either finish
or there will be no peace.

Deny
Focused

I once wanted you close enough
to touch
close enough to intertwine myself
and your heart
and our love

but now I overwhelm myself with
tasks and responsibilities
typical garden variety protective gear,
mimicking nature like
thorns on a honey locust

Still I blossom as needed
so that others can admire the beauty
but not get too close
what beauty?
all I see are thorns
that grow out of a mutual
disrespect
beauty?
tell me more and see
how insecurity is fertile

Our distance comforts me
the silence and unspoken disdain
flows like a breeze through bare branches
and fells the leaves
and caresses the thorns

It is easy to say the things
that we want to feel
a closeness that hopefully sheds
away
the fear,
the protective gear
the thorns on a honey locust tree

Thorny

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day,
then we must be royalty
the living and dining
worthy of immortalizing

forget the eggs, grits, biscuits and bacon
(for now)
don’t overindulge me
when knowing exactly
what I want
has always gotten you
what you want
a quick break
cinnamon bread toasted with just enough
heat to give rhythm to the skin
cream cheese warmed and spread
in ripples from end to end
and honey riding the waves in
slow flows that settle
into delicious pools
and we don’t break
fast
we eat
not caring
what falls
what spills
what smears
because we anticipate
the pleasure
of seconds

Flavorful

Words are disharmonious
to the tune of a flat
out
lie
your talent for becoming
that one thing
Masters Guild
Maestro with a penchant
the beautiful misery
each word sounding more untruthful
than the next
but we don’t say
that
do we?

Who is to say
what to believe
when the truth is a hostage
the truth determined by the
master teller of all
lies

Who is to say
what to believe
when every word
weighs less
means less
until eventually
there is no voice
and then
who is to say
the truth

Penchant

King me
and let me pretend that the
little gesture
gives me the power
a man can’t even
afford to have

Knight me
and let me pretend that the
little gesture
gives me the honor
a man’s can’t even
afford to lose

Man up and face
the reality of a world that
sees the meekness
juxtaposed with
the ethereal strength of a woman
feared in her element
feared in her radiance
struggling in a world that sees
her eloquence and elegance
as social disobedience

Queen her
for she was
born to rule words
and worlds
and men
she was born to speak
knowledge
and strength into
the kings and knights
without power
without honor

Queen me
and let me pretend that the
grand gesture gives you
the power
and honor
to never forget the
worth of
a queen again.

Disobey

All the world
and every single being
can hate me
so strongly that the oppression
of that hate
buries me in darkness
but for the love of one
I am saved
So give me what you can
say what you will
and do what you must
but for the love of one
just one single
being
loving me
so strongly

We shed tears
and wipe them away
as we break into
tiny fragments of what we were
in moments shared

with everything lost
and our back bent against
the weight of our nothingness
we find solace
in the likeness
of others
meandering through
this same mutilated dream

we hold hands
and hug and shed tears
that exhaust us
for once we feel something
resembling love
for each other
forgetting that in our
differences
and isolation
we built castles
in clouds and sand
just as we slipped on the rocks
that should have held us firm

with nothing to lose
in this world desperately
in need of rebuilding
let us hold tight
to each other
our difference attracting
each tiny fragment
creating something
far stronger
than what we once were

Sympathy

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

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