For Ferguson

Jaquese Armstrong–i turned off my tv 2 years ago

i
have
no words
my
emotions
raw/sauté them like
onions/burn
them/
smell
the stench
to
write this poem
create
my own
“true”
images

why
not
blame
him or them for the river of red flowing
from
a blood sea
constructed
by you 400 years ago
when
you snatched us
from
a home and culture
that
loved

now
we’re
dreamin
in
a place where superfly
turns
into a little boy
with
a gun and stash of green
‘cause
that’s the only way his dreams
will
let go

(anger
ain’t gonna destroy my mind
rip
the soul from my body with jagged edges—
don’t
let it integrate yours)

kinda
like “got no thing on me”
right
curtis

and
when we got here
showed
us a mirror
had
no glass but
an
illustration bearing
the
most hideous creature
now
you believe your hype
you
are
scared
of
you

(pictures
of regal women grand mothers
great
aunts scrubbing floors takin care of
alabaster
children with no intent
on
respect for elders with
beaming
cocoa skin flash)

makes
no difference that i turned my tv off
2
years ago—
the
reels play over and over ‘cause no
thing
changes

(a
man gestures at prosperity)

this
poem hasn’t even started yet

devaluation
of black skin
has
to come to a halt
we
are in emotional bankruptcy
climbing
threw the strewn bloodied bodies
you
have trashed for centuriesi

(i’m
glad i’m a Christian)

you
leave
devastation
wherever
you go
and
who are you
but
a system so ingrained
in
itself/justice never weighing
but
seeing black and white
seeking
impeachment (your latest cry)
which
should be called legal lynching
and
you are bought

(ain’t
gonna let anger destroy my mind
rip
my soul to confetti )

and
the people watch
in
a black and white picture
where
a black man hangs from a noose
a
boy smiles with glee…
the
real continues

and
i wrote notes
from
my healing journey
but
what will it help
if
you don’t take yours.

and this poem hasn’t even started yet…

you
want to
make
it go away
that
word
racism
you
don’t want to see the mirror
without
your distortion

you
want to make it go away
that
word racism
and
you want us to play along
business
as usual
in
what you call
a
post-racial society

you
want to make that word
racism
go away ‘cause
it
denotes wrongful use
of
power
your
butts are showing
and
you know you’re wrong
but
like the emperor with no clothes
you
smile and wave

i
an
intelligent black woman
turn
my tv off in disgust
to
save
my soul
from
advertisement hyped news
and
pleas from park and madison

bless
the babies gone
they
are in cool clear running
rippling
waters of Mercy and Peace
i
am drawn

i
enter a plea for Peace.

 

Jacquese Armstong’s poetry has appeared in Black Magnolias Literary Journal and BLACKBERRY: a magazine.