BLACK INK

by Donald Vincent


I just can’t keep living like this:
nightmares of the Union battles
packaged and shipped in excrement
to a foreign land labeled as chattle.

Or forcing my eyes to the floors
in nigger-colored corridors
filled with white women
because I feel like Emmett Till.

At times I picture Jim Crow foyers,
“Shall I grapple with my destroyers?”
Still—I rise stripped of my pride.
Even Affirmative Actions couldn’t
bleach Michael Jackson’s insides.

See Biggie, see Tupac,
see Martin, see Malcolm,
see Huey, see Garvey;
see black leaders
and their outcomes.

When I die, will I see black?
Buried in a black coffin—trapped
Waiting on Obama to address
my situation in his fireside chats.

“We real cool,” right?
“We die soon?” Right.
With urban public schools
teaching us how to be fools

neglecting to tell us truths,
but that 20 bag is enough
to help us get through.
Working hard

but never hardly working
as the ink dots these very pages
inequality is inevitable.
Never will these thoughts settle.

Black boy marries black girl
giving birth to a small, black imprint
forced into a blank,
white world.

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