In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily. Black Lives Matter.
Is it a sin I get drunk with home?
That I fall in love so much?
I take dearly shots from the ardor
brewed in the states. I pledge to
serve my nation and bring glory home.
When I was born, no one reminded me
that I’m a helpless bastard; no one
reminded me of the day my stay starts
to due. Not for once has it crossed
my mind to think I’m too convenient
to stay, that I’m but a black-headed
threat to the place I call my home.
How I’m so lost to ever think my feet
might be questioned someday.
I try not to see colour beyond human,
ill beyond goodwill. It is safer this
slumber is the love that unites
my amber kin and me, except now
to see ourselves as strangers and foes.
You won’t realize home is not home
until they use a middle finger to beckon
you to where your forefathers hailed;
until they measure your skin against
melanin; until they wake colours in
your eyes and let the tones fight.
You won’t realize home is but a prison
until you can taste metal in every room
you seek, places you thought you
inherit burn your feet; until they make
your ribs clinching like unappeased fist,
that you have to remain squeezed
yet strain in rigour gasping for air
from overhead ears that always love
hearing you choke, until you cry
your breaths out: “I can’t breathe,
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”