20/20

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.

20/20

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.

The others—

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

too uniquely.

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,

only exasperated.

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.

 

Willonee Simone