My Poetry: “of color: blue”

i’ve been blue before.

been fourteen, visiting family, eyes watching
white – pretty lady she was, a whistle for hello,
a whistle for kicks. i be for kicks.

i be cotton gin carrier, blue-faced boy,
white men told me strip. thin layer of sky
subtle against skin.

i be walking to that river.
reached.

i be white knuckles.                repeat.

be beaten black,
not social black, flesh black,               black around
the eyes – can’t see the eyes,                         they gauge. but they there.

and a golden bullet.

be wired to that cotton gin.

be mississippi river, chucked into,
hollow head. be a canal.

i be drowned screams.            silent. silent.

be tallahatchie baby, flipped river red,          running,

running,          a lake, a stream.

sink. be filled with blue.

lake blue. mississippi blue.                 blue like august blue.

be with family down there, too.

we all blue and black and brown.

i be their baby, still…

the tide is slow.           washing the shoreline

of color.           i be of color.    blue as a corpse.

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