No.162: red roses. blue violets. part ii.


roses be red,
violets be blue,
white girls still saying me too
while voting for pussy grabbin' buffoons,
white boys still shooting up schools,
black girls still rude
‘cause niggas still treading like animals in the hood--I mean, 
black boys still wipe each other from existence
over some overpriced shoes.

I know we like to cry in the moment,
when the tragedy catches us off guard,
on snooze,
on Snapchat Stories,
Love & Hip-Hop,
like this ain't the life we wake up and choose--
distracted, distraught, dramatic, back to default,
but Tyrone, Tamir, Philando, Freddie, and Sandra still gone,
still buzzwords,
still tools of theoretical debate
about the change we been dreaming of since Dr. King,
since the day blackness and whiteness became the standard lens of speech.

but anyway, 
what was I saying?
roses be red,
violets be blue,
wait no, that's not proper english,
they gone think I'm illiterate,
just another African booty scratcher,
no, stop, that ain't what this poem is about Benji,
just count,
breathe, keep calm, count, pluck the petals,
my country loves me,
my country loves me not,
my country loves my beats, my dunks, my locks,
I think they'll be fine if today's my day to meet the daily glock,
wait, no Benji, stop, this poem wasn’t supposed to go there,
shit, just start over,

‘cause roses be red,
violets be blue,
the mind can't handle the constant dark and gloom,
we need sunflowers, some amnesia, 
more data, more low-quality information, you know, junk food,
so go ahead, start over.

roses be red,
violets be blue,
the roses grew from concrete,
unless the violets grew
in an ecosystem of violence,
a side effect of whiteness
carried out like a virus
by the bodies with brown iris,
so instead,
roses bleed red,
and violets get beat blue,
and they ask you to forget,
to smile, or go back to Africa,
like mother didn't push their pale heads out the womb too.

they ask for the sun.
as they staple the moon into my eyes.
they claim to know the Son.
but all I see around us
are pigs and idols and stool,
and all of us wondering why the flies keep buzzing,
why this place stinks,
why it feels like the air
refuses to move.

all these weeds in the garden,
all these snakes,
and a bunch of would-be brides,
ignoring the groom
because the fruit of self is just too sweet.

but the comfort of today,
the mirage of tomorrow,
is a fake promise,
a dangerous ease. 
we've grown comfortable with
false peace,
and I wonder
if we are ready

for the fallout.


Cover Photo by João Silas on Unsplash