Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I know

I will have to work twice as hard to get half as far.
I will have to do twice as good to get half the recognition.
I will have to have a perfect understanding of roots I’ve never known
My skin does not do justice
I shed its pale, mottled trap
Because it contradicts my heart
When I look across the room
At the only (other) black man and recognize
The humor and smallness and largeness and disconnected
“I know”
Without recognizing and receiving the knowing look
Back from blue eyes beneath pale hoods
Because it is a shield I didn’t ask for
But am responsible for using and abusing
And I don’t want to profit from
Because even in making a literary pretension to connection
I am distancing myself through accidents of genetic combination
I am a black man
But my skin hair eyes belie
A heritage that I was never taught
I am a black man
And am responsible for nothing more
Than disproving anyone who claims otherwise

Spring 2005

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