Poem 10: Black Animals

My favorite animals are the black ones:
Sleek.
Light gleams off muscles and rolls
like someone smeared their
precious hides with Vaseline.
Fur so shiny we can see into the
smarmy depths of our own prejudices.
An honest, onyx mirror,
curving like the darkest sky
from which the moon bites
crescent chunks.

The black ones know us,
see our rejection of our own
dark spots.
Still, they rub against us,
leaving tinsel-dark threads
that stitch together our
philosophical treastises and
ethnocentrism.

When the sooty skies singe the heavens
and the stars have closed their winking eyes,
they watch us,
our shadows on lightless nights.
They see what we do,
smell what we know.
And when the sun finally rises,
they remain there, at our feet,
black pupils promising
forgiveness.

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