We’re Rebranding

Shackled

in the bellies of America,

shipped over

to The Land of the Free.

Kiss away the sweet days of sandy plains,

now let pale hands bury you at sea. 

Shackled

in the bellies of America,

where nine-tailed cats police,

ribbons drip from spines here,

when their tails hit,

lick

and release.  

Bound

in the bellies of America,

paraded on a stage for sale,

mothers and sons don’t live here,

only colored female

and colored male.

Those days were marked The Weeping Time,

for the sky swelled with grief,

but The Weeping Time stretches on today

in the wake of Samuel,

Philando

or Kalief.   

Bound in the bellies of America,

scorched in cotton fields while you sing.

To seek the underground railroad,

follow the gourd to drink.

Wade deep in the water,

go down to the river to pray.

Swing low, sweet chariot,

to Jesus, steal away.   

Still chained

to the bellies of America,

but now you’re strung up amongst the leaves,

a grisly wind chime to gorge Mr. Crow,

as your bones clatter

in the breeze.

Still chained

to the bellies of America,

baby Till is butchered and bled.

Folk pray for peace at his casket,

while his slayers sleep soundly in their beds. 

Cornered

in the bellies of America,

and don’t worry, we’ve now rebranded.

Stop and Frisk,

Stand Your Ground,

it’s the slavery you knew

but expanded.

Cornered

in the bellies of America,

and the magic number is thirteen.

Trump bedecks uniforms in guns,

and the Land of the Free is a crime scene. 

Welcome!

to the bellies of America,

the work we do here is subliminal,

obviously, it’s illegal to enslave our populace*,

Welcome!

to the bellies of America,

where the mission

is to criminalise black bodies,

we write it into legislation,

bolstered through political and corporate lobbies.

“I can’t breathe”,

choked Eric,

“Please don’t let me die”,

pleaded Kimani.

Then George and Freddie heaved again,

and Kendrec asked

“Why did you shoot me?”.

Bullet holes

litter a black man’s organs,

as if it’s their birth right

to be ripped through.

Retching on roadsides and streets,

in their death,

they make their debut.

Ahmaud,

George

and Breonna,

their faces fly for the revolution.

But their murders weren’t accidental,

they were written

in the constitution.   

 *unless that populace is colored and criminal.

Photo courtesy of Tom Coe

Categories: Monologues

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