World speaking out

Poem: A lesson in the political economy of desire

This poem, originally posted on RedWedge, is a creative, cutting look at US Black confidence and desire amidst struggle by Crystal Stella Becerril

i.

black on black on Black on
Timbs;
an interruption – no,
an intervention.
a reminder to the Columbus-ing ass fuckboys
(and girls) that
they
still
here.
reminder to the survivors,
the OGs, that
they.
still.
here.
deadass, b.

ii.

a quiet confidence commands the room –
the type only
those who’ve been thru
Hell –
read: a country that does not want you,
read: white supremacy,
read: centuries of some whack-ass shit –
and lived
to recite the poem
dance the dance
sing the song
can possibly have.
ambient noise turns
White;
tilts its head;
confused.
shook.
still, it engulfs,
revels in its own guilt,
and ultimately, self-flagellates:
“WOKE”
but words do not forgive;
the way a whip
cutting thru air
conjuring up red
does not forgive.
so He too conjures up Red
and makes mirrors out of
poems.

iii.

on Fulton Street
Brooklyn and Chicago meet.
ideas clash, tension grows;
that’s that sweet, sweet ebb and flow.
teeth glisten thru steelpan smiles;
cheeks burn bright like hot coal –
anticipation.
jalapeño y mezcal
set hungry lips on
fire,
and glasses now half empty
make C cups twice as full
ache
to be devoured.
word play/foreplay,
throat chokes on
Black velvet.
bad ideas taste real good.

iv.

hieroglyphs are hard to read where
weathered skin has lost its
sheen.
nothing a bit of coconut oil can’t fix
She thinks.
theory and poetry dance;
find common ground in
struggle and desire.
all that is solid melts into air,
and all that in this world is profane –
bodies of color, desire, rage –
in this moment become
sacred.
tender collisions quench thirst;
cries and quivers anoint;
and then,
Brooklyn sleeps again.

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