Angst: The White Man’s Burden

  • a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general”
  • “(informal) a feeling of persistent worry about something trivial”

 

Black folks,

I’m telling you,

Aint got no time for no angst

 

We know what scares us

And its up close and personal

Focused

In our face

Making us spitting mad

 

And scared

 

Folks too busy surviving

And striving

To prove we matter

We got something real

To fear

 

We keep our hands up

We are the human condition

We keep the cameras rolling

We are the state of the world

 

We are your angst

Because you don’t think

We matter

Out of the Cold

Shivering against the biting wind, I stumble as fast as six-year-old legs can when Mama sets the pace. Jeanne rushing along the other side has experience that keeps her upright when I trip. As  Mama propels us through the building’s door, heated air hugs me and Jeanne clasps me upright. Mama races up the staircase, lifting me one-handed so the tips of my toes drag along the top of each step. I make myself a drag on her progress so that Jeanne can keep up. I wouldn’t want to lose her, this time. I couldn’t imagine going through this again all alone. Would she let us stay this time? Would Daddy still want to keep us?

 

Winter kept no faith,

Pledged to return; spring’s promised hope

Lost in  bitter dawn

 

 

Indistinguishable from Magic

arthurcclarke101182This is not a magic I fear

On the job

I’m their tech-savvy rescuer

When they can’t wait for IT

 

I know how to make it

So they can take it

Easy

I know the short cuts

I have the answers

They all crave

 

Off the job

They tell me

“Make some magic happen”

And I enhance the wedding

The funeral

The baptism

With my sleight of hand

 

But a book is not a plastic case

With back light

And hundreds of tomes

I can hold in my hands

 

A book is trees

Who willingly sacrificed themselves

So I can hold wonder in my hand

And feed it with my blood

And bring a resurrection with words

 

That is the magic

I want to make

 

Rapture

Step 1

When the aliens captured me

Jimmy’s right hand was under my bra

And I was thinking how much more comfortable it would be in the back seat

 

What I thought was the heavens opening, was just the hatch

I closed my eyes against the blinding light

And through the shadow

Someone with swirling rainbow wings was touching my soul

I woke with darkness and moonlight

Had I fallen to heaven or hell?

Or bliss

 

Step 2

When the aliens captured me

Jimmy’s right hand was under my bra

His left hand between my thighs

And I was thinking how much more comfortable it would be in the back seat

 

What I thought was the heavens opening, was just the hatch

I closed my eyes against the blinding light

And through the shadow

Someone with swirling rainbow wings was touching my soul

And I saw through a crystal prism butterfly wings

 

I woke with darkness and moonlight and

Jimmy asleep behind the wheel

I was in the back seat without my bra

And an emptiness in my soul

 

Had I fallen to heaven or hell?

Or was it just Jimmy who had left me longing for capture?

 

After the aliens

An artist drew for me rainbow wings

But I never found that bra

Or bliss

Again

 

 

Step 3

When the aliens captured me

Jimmy’s right hand was under my bra

 

What I thought was the heavens opening, was just the hatch

 

Someone with swirling rainbow wings was touching my soul

 

I woke with darkness and moonlight and

Jimmy asleep behind the wheel

 

An artist drew for me rainbow wings

But I never found that bra

Or bliss

Again

Before Darkness

There is nothing

There was nothing

 

The stars can only shine within the darkness

When the sun denies the sky,

The moon reflects her brightness

Which we can see

Only in the darkness

 

Gems are richer, more enticing

Against a foil of darkness

 

Always, always there has been the darkness

How could I be without the darkness?

For Simone Manuel

White sands

White sky

White people

White noise

 

Where am I?

Was that me

Dancing in the dark?

Blowing in the breeze?

 

Those leaves

Tossed to the sea

Were my people who

drowned there

 

That’s why we fear the water

The best we could do

Was float

 

But lately, we’ve learned

To swim

Journey’s End

Sleep stole me between

Jackson and Georgia

 

One week of Mississippi

Soaked into my bones

Shadowed my golden brown

Burned up my bounce

Sucked my sweet spirit bitter dry

 

Memories scabbed over

Hide under my skin

Below the bitter burning

 

The car rocks me

All the way to Cairo

Where memories can

Slowly wash away

Tears

Dripping

Down the drain

 

Sweet home

Chicago

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