Let Me Explain

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Black joy at the Freedom Square encampment, Summer 2016. Photo credit: @Pidgephoto (Instagram)

When I told him
I am Black
I meant
I am in a constant state
of mourning

he thought
I meant
I am defeated

I meant
there is always something gone

a name
the tongue I say it with

something lost out over the edge
of something

the crest of it leaving
a white-hot space

I meant
everything I do
is mourning

dancing
cackling
dicing a red onion

I meant
this fact
is as irreparable
as the climate

unmarked gravesite
balancing a twelve-story condo
on its dusty skull

I meant
that to fix it
is another manipulation

because fixed
in this context
always means
less Black

I meant
I want to get Blacker

I meant
let’s get Black
together
say nothing
and understand

my tongue
disappearing
beneath a horizon
of teeth

making one furrow
by filling another

diphthong
catch in your breath

a white-hot space
left open

I meant
let’s love each other
for our joyous refusal
to close it

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