We prided ourselves on productivity
until “produce despite a pandemic”
became our reality.
Into the dawn like bird songs, now
pangs of insomnia beckon us.
Mistaking insanity for invincibility
causing us to be more reckless
during the day.
“Black folk the new robots.”
All the while paving the way,
for heavier workloads.
They’re writing the code on our souls.
Imputing and uploading mixed messages
in our minds making it hard to surmise
whether I should pick up a pen and write
when all I really wanna do is fall
asleep before sunrise.
“They’ll kill themselves off.”
Programmed to hate each other too easily.
Stench of every fatal attraction still seeps
deep into our psyche.
Secretly wishing we could reek less
havoc sitting on the public safety ad hoc.
But ain’t enough committees for
mother’s too tired to cope
with white sheets laid in the streets
or cops protesting our presence
on every sidewalk touching our feet
and choppers riot overhead searing the bluest sky.
Somebody must’ve died.
Today, CPD searches the perimeter
for the shooters despite
hiding a few in plain sight
and screaming Blues Lives…
While grandmamas and sirens cry,
we bleed out laid out
on a cracked and wholly pavement
and not even an ambulance ride can save him
so an older woman screams
“Help him, Holy Savior!”
How do we sleep in a time such as this?
“They say sleep is the cousin of death.”
Fold the map on Vincennes and Lawrence.
Tell us just another way to keep
Black people opulently oppressed
and outta Lori’s downtown
long enough to forget
the riots that came before us.
We are the descendants of Red Summers
and MLK-motivated marches
in Marquette and Trumball Parks and—
well, who fights for poor people’s rights now, huh?
“City been on fire. COVID, just carjacked the flames.”
Chicago, the city built on a hill—
not to be hidden, but driven into history
as too separate and too ready to kill.
Kill our joy, kill our peace, kill our boys
as they fight for fame and recognition
—for anything but being looted slaves.
—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤
I guess it’s National Poetry Month… I started this almost a year ago. Back in May 2020… tried to finish it today. In fact, it feels more abandoned than finish. #poetry #nationalpoetrymonth