Warm evenings -
a slight breeze with the scent of smoked ham
and cornbread for dinner.
BROWN BODIES come out when the streetlights do
FOR FEAR OF BEING SEEN,
dancing and singing to Motown.
Turning bodies into wine
too sweet to taste.
Hearing John Coltrane and his saxophone
telling stories of BLUES on SUNDAYS
with a bass line as steady as our heartbeats.
We gather here,
in this moment,
in this place.
A place not welcomed to us by outsiders,
but a place our tears have made a home out of.
Bodies laced in slick sweat, and HIP-HOP, and POETRY.
Bodies golden in sunlight and bursts of mahogany under dimly lit moons.
We’ve made our HOMES here.
Here, in TRAGEDY, SOLEMN and SORROW,
we pack up into HYMNS to sing like lullabies.
HERE we do not forget to be strong,
to go unbroken like our mothers did after crossing oceans
and bending their backs to save us.
WE DO NOT FORGET
to make peace,
not unlike the raging water we come from.
Somewhere along the way
we traded knapsacks for semi-automatics
and a dream for cheap liquor at the corner store.
A number of us have been forgotten here,
but we don’t think about that.
Not today and maybe not ever.
This is just another story to US.
Another melody, another cautionary tale
to make a song out of.
This is how we survive.
How we make light out of darkness.