Race Card

burning ace of spades

prelude

language could help

us build the truth

wake it from where

it sleeps if used like

surgeons knives

to cut past the fat

the augmentations of

smoke and mirror

language has ever been

a weapon always in the

beginning light cut dark on

command the words

opening the void so

we could come forth

stumbling into being

fragile and interdependent

they say the Godz confounded

language confusing understanding

from that time to this moment

then man stole the fire

& ran through the forest willy nilly

setting fires…

Race Card

we don’t discuss race

have the servants sweep it under

the carpet its indelicate most likely

politically incorrect things might be

said we can’t take back leaving us

naked without the protection of

manufactured innocence our eyes

would have to open we would have

to watch our backs out loud the truth

will set you free to experience reality

without commercials you would have

to wear your hate like rappers wear chains

that say I am somebody so strangers

recognize that they reside above the fold your

fear would babble in front of you like

scampering imps holding hands with

your greed skipping in lockstep through

your closed mind

we don’t discuss race

we load words to do dirty work washing

our hands like Pilate before saying the words

that crucified Christ

no fingerprints on the weapon

used to other

slander negate marginalize to fringe thought

playing word games

with deadly outcomes

reducing reality to quips

race card

unpack it

show me what’s

inside that cannon that

so effectively minimizes the

effect of melanin how it colors

more than skin reaches  into

perception spawning misconceptions

planting it self like an elephant

on the table in the middle

of most of the rooms in this

crooked house of cards

where those words shut

down discussions of how

right is right and right don’t wrong

nobody who coined the phrase

to make the topic hysterical

irrational loaded it with self

pity in order to drown the

embers banked inside

to erect a wall behind which to hide

to buy shovels for the growing

divide if the questions terrify

what does the answer carry inside

race card

is it like ?freedom papers

?south African papers

?the right answers in a stop and frisk

is it like the

words on bills of ships lading

ownership papers

broken peace treaties

declarations of war

race card is a door stopper

wedged in a locked door

it is a lid on the container

it’s a slap in the face

a guttural “shut up”

in need of dissecting

being taken apart to

examine its privileged pieces

so one can marvel at how

they help to create

the shadow of innocence

in a room full of

cannibals with flesh in

their teeth blood that

won’t fade on hands

that cover mouths in

consternation that someone

would proffer a conversation

about race

so in shades of self-preservation

they play the trump

to end the game

with the utterance

“don’t play the race card”

outro

if we can’t talk

how else do we find

understanding if you

don’t desire understanding

what else do you imagine

might solve the problem

covered beneath

the race card

About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
This entry was posted in North American African Perspective and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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