I, brown as an oven-baked biscuit
Answer the rising sun with color
Meet the night with fearless darkness. I am.
Nature-infused. Songs greet my nightly dreams
Oh, say, can you sing of my heart’s aches.
The tears of my mothers enslaved. Brothers, killed. I am.
You, glistening like icing, itching for the oven to
Open. Open up oven, let’s make this cake!
Unaware of the heat that bakes me so brown
Ruddy, ready, anxious you. We can cake together, you say.
Negro poets sing. Icing, how do we cake together?
Even as the heat of race burns like the barrels of guns drawn on
Generations fallen in this American heat. This land, caked
Red with the blood of Navajo, Mandinka, Cherokee, Han, Maya, Yoruba
Oh say, we the people, can you sing a Negro Spiritual?