Part of me still floats in the Atlantic

Part of you still hopes I drown

Like part of this country wishes I wasn't around and everyone who looks like me

Is penitentiary bound

Or made to be six feet in the ground, I say

I say part of me still floats in the Atlantic

And with this pen

With this poetry I try to do that part of me justice

Like I'm writing with their silent bodies in mind

The back broken, mouth open, clasped hands to God

The dead and tossed off deck

The ones who never saw this new world but still saw shackle and chain

The ones who weren't yet stripped of their last name

But snatched from freedom all the same

Made to die in close quarters with strangers


Wondering where's my mother

Where's my lover

Daughter, son

Where are the ppl who speak my language

The middle passage claimed  millions of would be slaves

So I fill this notebook with salt water and watch the binding cave

The sky will crack the day we stop writing our story

The day we stop being bag ladies and Tyrones carrying this history on our backs

Loading it onto every train

And pushing it out to the forefront during the singing of the national anthem

Oh say can't you see

The Negroes still ain't free

We can't stop writing till black boys stop dying, their murderers allowed to keep their jobs

Their breath

Their freedom

It's a brute and directionless revolution that is not catalyzed by a pen

Exposing America's original sin

Try and force me to pledge allegiance to this flag of native and black blood, white skin, and a smog filled sky

This manifest destiny

The original lie

Oh Miss America

There she sits

Red lips, applecheeks

Apple core for a waist

Apple of uncle Sam's eye

Look how she stands on the backs of those who built this country from the ground up

The same ones they call lazy freeloaders now carry her chariot

Do not blame us when we drop her

Don't be surprised when we start asking for the things we are owed

Like a fair shot

Like not being shot

Like the right to breathe at ease

Nobody drops their pen until we get reparations

Until little black girls are no longer made to believe that they are anything less than royal

Until little black boys are no longer made to think that their only choices in life are rap bars, jail bars, die or shoot a basketball

Until poems like this stop getting eye rolls and dismissals

Stop being so angry

Stop fighting so much

Stop being so negative

I'm sorry that black struggle offends you

I'm sorry that black offends you

But there's no other way for me to be

So I'll keep writing and screaming till we all get free

And until the silent bodies

At the bottom of the Atlantic

Finally get to rest in peace


This poem is about: 
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741