It’s been just about a year and a half since this was published in Shoe Music Press’s Penny Ante Feud #10. Here’s to finding new homes for it in the future.
I have two eyes–
one Black, one White,
grown and developed
by two torn sides
for 25 springs and autumns.
Their perceptions merge and split,
still in search for the view
of pure truth in this broken land.
What do you have to tell me
about these two bold hues?
They sift through the sagging grey veil
that bears the power of malicious segregation,
still trapped in a Bad Romance
for the last 400 years.
Called by my original American brand only once in my life
by a passing homeless woman having a fit.
She felt the need to spell out the six letters for me;
evidently my shading marks my obvious illiteracy.
Nothing since has been so outright.
still shamelessly silly—
only sound as if in desperate need of education.
Like the time I was asked if I knew
that black people named their children
Or when a geometry teacher pulled me aside,
felt the need to explain that saying
any version of “nigger” was wrong
because her own access was denied,
and that I’d want to kill any white person
who had the balls to break code.
Or when an old friend’s sister mistook me
for the Venezuelan housemaid.
Yet, I accept my role as Teacher and Ambassador
between the bomb-sheltered realities.
One hand opened, one fist closed,
show me why you deserve to pry apart
these last awaiting fingers.
All colors are welcomed to the challenge.
Manifesting newness to an old dream,
I want all eyes to see
the Prism on full blast from the light
of the moon, stars, and sun.
Dare to ask me questions? Dare to hear my answers.
I silently snicker as my eyes watch yours
and read your mind as free words shred it
with a newly perceived vision:
That I am a Grammar Führer.
That I’m not an angry black woman,
That whatever your hatred chooses to call me doesn’t compare
to your embodiment of the intergalactic slur of “meatsack”.
That I’ll date outside the box,
and I will gladly smile in your face
with either gender on my arm.
Try to comprehend that which you’ll only comprehend
with just the right dose of enlightenment.
This only child’s ready to share her peace.
Here’s a toast that it won’t rot on the offering table.
So hold new hope, my pupil. Show me your teeth.
Bite my apple, if you dare.