TODAY HAS GOT TO DIE

TODAY HAS GOT TO DIE

I trudge in darkness, chocolate thick & Black,
liquefy sadness in blood,
settling deep among the
dead leaves for the sudden stabbing chest
whose pain brings a bigger night, &
suddenly, all joy turns
to shabby restless rest.

What of it? Just nightmares.
Nightmares pass.

Laurels are lain before the
shattered legs and twisted
fragments of men whose value
reflected other worlds, not this one,
not, at least, this one I believe must live
and yet, doesn´t. Tomorrow,
tomorrow it must come.

Today has got to die.

Meanwhile the crabby refuse of rusted beaches,
Fukushima red, stream, borne east,
swarm over the waves, sweeping
bathers and bathing to new
storefronts, miles beyond,
miles behind the lines set to live on
but living is relative.

We are all falling back into the primal, sylvan darkness,
among the gnarls and brambles and bushes
whose names are forgotten, whose
richness we don´t understand.

There are paintings lying on the street,
pictures of moments born in fear,
drawn in blood and seen without warning, without
commentary. They sear into the soul,
rattling tales of indignity and terror
and the loss of dreams.

Today has got to die.

In shadowlands around
the country, whispers are said
lines are crossed and simple measures taken:
A Black man doesn´t need a reason to be.

A swelling furnace
is what this has come to, filled with
burnt pages stiffened into memory
then retrieved when limp bodies are lifted
to be boxed and buried.

The wails are common, too common.
Shields up, colors blue (always blue), batons
bloodied. I see faces, terrible faces-
“Go ahead, bring it on!” they taunt, “Bring it on!”
delighting in kicks to the head,
shoulder punches, snarling rage,
the bangs and beatings, the blood
and the bruises, all the same and always justified,
against their enemy.
Always justified.
They fear the dark:

The dark within them- of the oppressors they barely beat back, and
afraid of the dark people carrying 500 year old memories in their blood,
their DNA soaked with screams and brutalizations
too bewildering to bear.

Still, they are patient, but then another dies
the dark rage rises
and the blue fear now knows… it knows…
that somewhere out there, an old resentment rises
and they fear.
Yes, they fear the dark.
So they kill first.

Today has got die.

Before tomorrow can ever come,
Before the arterial bursts, the cherry bombs
in the head,
the expectations that all are
dying or dead,
let´s hand out a blanket for the eyes,
some milk and honey for the dreamers and
write out a new flag, braided and starred
rising to the maroon sky with awful yearning:

“Today has got to die!
“Today has got to die.”

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