April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

“on black boys”

Danez Smith

 

you came out the womb
obituary scribed on the backside
of your birth certificate. you’re nothing new
they’ve seen this before. you’re a rerun
a dull flash in this earth. lightning in a ghost town
mama told you to hit anybody
who hits you first. you walked outside
throwing fist at air. this is how you fight
the world back. Vaseline making a diamond
of your skin and nobody telling you
how beautiful you are. grow
up, start to throw knuckle and metal
into boys down the block or round the corner
race to make each other more ugly
less diamond, more dead. a cold black boy body
is a fulfilled prophecy. you has always been a dying thing
this is how you realize your potential.

 

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