I do not know
where to put
my memory
of black death.

while my Spirit is strong,
its weight has crushed
the soul and seam
of my childhood dream
and in turn,
is too much

the aroma of injustice is so thick that
it suffocates my hope from taking in fresh air,
which is to say-
that every breath I breathe
is a hallelujah.
is a testimony.
that I am
the revolution.


there are no words to express
these symptoms of war.
no way to recover
my innocence
from the battle.

Can’t explain
why my smile
feel like a battle.
Why my joy
feel like sin?


if I choose to withhold from the riot,
it is only because
i am rebuilding
my peace.
God is restoring
my soar.

On most days.

i am aware that i am
my ancestors answered prayer.
a manifestation of surrendered prophecy.
and yet,
i wrestle with
the need for reciprocity.
for relationship.
and revenge.

what I’m trying to say is,

Today –
I remembered where I was
the first time I witnessed black death
and my Spirit broke out into a song.

and my only fear is,
i don’t know
how long
it will