09.13.2019
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

TERI ELLEN CROSS DAVIS

This Poem Suggests Revolution

This poem no longer consents to play
mammy or to wet nurse a seething rage
at her own black teat. America your teeth
have come in–you nip too much. This poem  

refuses to play religion, a bible verse will not
absolve you America. If the pursuit of happiness,
life, and liberty came from the creator, she is
about ready to pimp slap you in the face.

This poem will not be your bottom bitch
America. This poem does not consent to
blackness being window-dressing for the
diversity brochure of a country where  

the board of directors never changed.
This poem reads the fine print on you
America. This poem consents to be:
black ink, a clenched fist, pepper spray,  

and black soles marching on asphalt-
freedom for and from you America.
If need be, this poem consents to double
as witness—the dotted i in the missing  

reparations decree. Until then, let this poem
heckle you America. Let it yell goddamn US,
choke on cotton, while fanning itself and the
flames. Understand, this poem doesn’t  

want to be blood-thirsty, it would rather
write about the cleanse of a cloud burst
than the vengeful force of a water hose.
In truth, this poem courts hope. Like a volta,  

it wants to turn the page, writing: America
let us pen a new document. Not a perpetual union
but a chokehold removed—as a black throat breathing
freely is a self-evident truth— let these lines be facts

submitted to a candid world.  And this poem
when spoken or read, let it alter, let it abolish you.

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Teri Ellen Cross Davis is HoCoPoLitSo 2019-2020 Writer-in-Residence for Howard County, Maryland. Her poetry collection Haint (Gival Press) won the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals including: Not Without Our Laughter: poems of joy, humor, and sexuality, Poetry Ireland Review and Tin House. She lives in Silver Spring, MD

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