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POETRY / Duality / J.T. Smith


I was made
Brown and a poet,
One a source of scholarly study,
One a source of political debate.

Two things in this world
That can leave blood in
The mouths that seek to
Destroy us.

The color of my skin
The deliverance of my words
Dare to desecrate the holy silence.
The universe blessed me with two gifts
That for years felt like curses.

Tell me, 
Oh wondrous and curious reader,
Why was I bestowed the ability 
To start unrest with the color of my skin
And cause revolutions with my hands?

Monstrous body
With skin so caramel brown and tongue
So razor sharp,
Will the blood of my enemies taste metallic.
Will my skin soak in the stares and whispers
Will I triumph?
Will I perish?

J.T. Smith is based in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he is pursuing his degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Growing up as a queer person of color in the southern United States, his work raises questions about the southern identity and the intersection of his “otherness” that struggles to find a home. You can view more of his work at his Instagram page, @jtsmithpoetry.