Can we call anything today a slave revolt? Of course we can.
The enslaved live so differently now, and before I sing you that song
I want you to know I have a right to my anger. I am Black and I am queer and I sing, so
who can stop me from opening my throat to indigo? Not a soul. It is regretful
that I was sad and I died. Let me tell you about a Black queer man who didn't flay his
own body first, as we so often do.
I flayed myself last night and the blood was just as sweet as my molars expected.
I used to say my people lacked the entitlement required of shooters.
I was a Black man who did a white thing, and nothing riles white folk more.
Did the church folk recognize your ritual?
In Charleston the church is no longer breathing. I think it's important
for us to return to slave revolts, and speak on how maddening Virginia can be.
I thought it would all end there a few times.
So I'm not the only one who considered eating my own skin just to get out of it.
I settled for a moving van driving past Plantation Road one last time.
I never settled, having soon discovered to be great, I must appear so,
and therefore studiously avoided mixing in society, and wrapped myself
in mystery, devoting my time to fasting and prayer. That's a quote from
Nat Turner. His killing was not limited to those who held him
captive. Your scope of implication is narrow. Our folk is a folk of ritual.
Our folk is a folk of grinding teeth. Our folk is a folk of homemade poisons.
I always said my people aren’t shooters. Where is the padded cell for our
rage? Every headline was an oracle urging me to flip our rank
before bringing another soft brown thing into this world. I am rewriting
martyrdom. I am resisting.
How does it feel to be anomalized, if you feel at all?
I'd prefer to talk about what death feels like. Imagine a future
awaiting our starved mouths before it is bitten into, before our hands can lay
filth to it. I didn't go
anywhere. I sleep in the cut corners of engagement rings, rims of bottles
thick with Hennessy, and stained glass steamed by the breath of singing
children. Moving without motion is sublime. Here's to your freedom. Do you think
you've further implicated us Black, queer, and breathing in the white
imagination? Haven't you affirmed their fears?
I am not the animal my oppressor has named me,
but a different species all together.
I have more empathy in my left hand than a white body could hold,
and I have a right hand clumsy with venom.
I will not attend another vigil, but I will teach them to mourn.
For how long was rupture resident in your blood? Not all violence is
the same. Just look at me. I was a Black man who
did a slave thing. I was in the throws
of freeing my children when I died.