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?

—-

Feb 2017

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