On the Ground
fingers on his hands splayed
spat gum engrained
in the lines of his fingerprints.
I thanked my lucky stars to be born after that
but right in the middle
of this and us.
Faded flames still burn our future freedom bus.
They’ve always told me that black was mean,
but just yesterday white hoods
hosed my Sunday best clean and
we heard a speech by Dr. King outlining a dream
where black people were free
Maybe the gravel can take the color off.
American releases a scream from inside
the hollow of her throat
but a weary white hand promised a Dream
won’t let go
Will choke what little clean air is left
lead to believe they own everything
They think it isn’t theft.
I always feel dirty now.
I plead please see
I didn’t ask for this
Black skin, Black hair
Big Black lips
I’m sorry I’m here
If that’s what you need to hear
I’ll kill myself to save you the trouble
Don’t worry, I’ll clean the blood.
Don’t worry, I’ll write the article that calls me a thug.
Destine Carrington is a queer, black woman with a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington because she enjoys challenges. Other things she enjoys include but are not limited to: burgers, brownies, and Batman.
It continues to snow dust.
The sun comes out of the closet.
Jays enter under the door
jumping over a line of air.
Maybe it was just the light,
cracked somewhere, leaked out,
lucky—I thought you shifted away
in voice, my mouth to hear,
My senses are a cushion, and yet this horror appears to taste my morrow. My alarms are useless because they are on fire with the rest of my home.
Be honest now—
just for a minute; I cried.
I had him locked out—
a perfectly good wish.
Privately, for over a year now you drove off and left me.
The place cooled down beaming and bright—
put my name on a silencer (it’s not the end of the world).
In the mirror, the wooden bust of Christ Nicodemus carved
and Joseph commended to the sea, stares out for reflection.
Only a true spell
of fittingly glamorous phenomena
repaired sunstruck imagination—
Too big for your body, the whale of a bed will go on sale; also the dresser, its
three-linked mirrors tall as sails.
The Nazis are back in town.
No, I know. They never, ever left.