I wanted to be like Langston, social, observant and classy on the epidermis but as I grow older, Baldwin, Essex & Hemphill take root thru solitude, sex and drink in thru the mourning.
Langston lay low, code switching with brilliance. Saved many lives with years of resilience. The power of a pen to tell two stories at once: one a yellow negro tamed with no wants, another a calm nigga, clever and willing–to tell the truth about white folks while also fulfilling, the hope of other brothers, spirits unbroken, but he spoke in the dark until we children awoken.
Baldwin came next, with a tongue of hell fire. Infernos in our bellies did that homo negro inspire. His tongue spoke no codes, no apologies, just black. Told whitey, Elijah and Martin they whack. He wrote of a blackness that had sex so freely, unless you were a woman, well then his tongue got real squeaky. He spoke of black girls with black eyes, as if he had no clue of the terror in the skies..raped, beaten and cast out as hoes by whitey and Malcolm and all manner of broes.
In comes old Essex, with an intersectional view. Demilitarize the body and take this in too, I’m black, queer, poz and sexy and don’t you want me too? The secret of fear, is that it’s cloaked in desire. You call war on my body because it’s no longer yours sire! We may talk about coin, perhaps it’s for hire, but make no mistake, it’s still about desire. Put your ring on my cock, or in her vagina, our love needs no permission from the U.S. state nor China. Kill us all now, let this damn virus spread, but just know this shug, I’ll never be dead. We live in the cosmos and the canals of your spirit. Just listen closely and I’m sure you will hear it. I am you and you are me, 300 years later and you’re drawn back to me. Black like the universe you fall to my pull, gravity didn’t send you, you’re just race’s fool. Sweet dreams old Judy, we bid you Adeu, but no more code switching, it’s so 82.