My Blackness is the beauty of this land

my blackness,
tender and strong, wounded and wise,
my blackness:
I, drawling black grandmother, smile muscular and sweet,
unstraightened white hair soon to grow in earth,
work-thickened hand thoughtful and gentle on grandson’s head,
my heart is bloody-razored by a million memories’ thrall:
remembering the crook-necked cracker who spat
on my naked body,
remembering the splintering of my son’s spirit
because he remembered to be proud
remembering the tragic eyes in my daughter’s
dark face when she learned her color’s meaning,
and my own dark rage a rusty knife with teeth to gnaw
my bowels,
my agony ripped loose by anguished shouts in Sunday’s
humble church,
my agony rainbowed to ecstasy when my feet oversoared
Montgomery’s slime,
ah, this hurt, this hate, this ecstasy before I die,
and all my love a strong cathedral!
My Blackness is the beauty of this land!
Lay this against my whiteness, this land!
Lay me, young Brutus stamping hard on the cat’s tail,
gutting the Indian, gouging the nigger,
booting Little Rock’s Minniejean Brown in the buttocks and boast,
my sharp white teeth derision-bared as I the conqueror crush!
Skyscraper-I, white hands burying God’s human clouds beneath
the dust!
Skyscraper-I, slim blond young Empire
thrusting up my loveless bayonet to rape the sky,
then shrink all my long body with filth and in the gutter lie
as lie I will to perfume this armpit garbage,
While I here standing black beside
wrench tears from which the lies would suck the salt
to make me more American than America…
But yet my love shall civilize this land,
this land’s salvation.

By: Lance Jeffers

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