BURN WITH ME (for Baltimore)

by ravenswingpoetry

The Thirteenth Doctor, in Baltimore, April 2015

This city is an angry
wound flaring up
a centuries-long nightmare
into the sky —

an orange flame fist
throat crying
not “How long?”,
but “NOW!”

A sliver of me —
not Time Lady but
black woman, braid-
mantilla crowned,

piñata hearts burst
open — kneels to weep
in the middle of
some street;

but now is not
the time for water.
It is the time for
fire, erupting

from the chasm
of a severed black
man’s spine, bullets’
exit wounds, nooses,

hard leathered skins
poverty-worn and
tented on their bones
to house their souls

from flaying knife
winds still blowing
from your Middle
Passage.

Blame not the broken
kindling for burning,
but the hot winds for
igniting them.

Burn with me, you who
watch from your tellys
and tsk-tsk-tsk — burn
black like me

and you will finally
understand.

Written 4/28/15
————————————–
This was written for Baltimore. I’ve created a future regeneration of the Doctor (after Peter Capaldi’s Twelve Doctor) and made her female and dark-skinned. I did this last fall, but I thought of all of my fictional creations who needed to say something about Baltimore, it was her.

 

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