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Ben K Ellis Dec 2020
My first fear is that when I'm at the train station and the intercom lady says “if you see something that doesn't look right”, a hoard of men comes and yanks me away from the train station platform.
My second fear is that when I'm at the edge of the train station platform and the intercom lady says “if you see something that doesn't look right”, people around me won't see that I don't look right.
My third fear is unfulfilled potential.
My fourth fear is the intercom lady.
My fifth fear is fear itself.
My sixth fear is a recurring dream of me trying to take an antidepressant on the edge of the train station platform and the pill rolls onto the tracks as a fast train is incoming, and that is a metaphor for something.
My seventh fear is feeling blue on the platform, but people not seeing me because they don't see colour.
My eighth fear is falling in love with the intercom lady.
My ninth fear is falling in love.
My tenth fear is falling.
My eleventh fear is unfulfilled potential.
My twelfth fear is repeating myself.

My thirteenth fear is writing poetic metaphors for suicides and only receiving clicks
My fourteenth fear is a publisher asking to publish my Black pain for clicks
My fifteenth fear is asking myself to churn out pain for clicks

My sixteenth fear is waiting too long on the platform on the way to the Black barbershop
My seventeenth fear is the Black barbershop
My eighteenth fear is the barber charging me extra for a fade
My nineteenth fear is the barber pushing my edges too far back like my father
My twentieth fear is getting a cut that makes me look like my father
My twenty-first fear is knowing that in the mirror we always look like the parent who's scorn us
My twenty-second fear is scorn
My thirtieth fear is recounting pain
My fiftieth fear is losing count

And as the 1250 to London Bridge arrives,
I mind the gap and sit down and take a breath and thank my lucky stars that I am still alive
I heard another one of us didn't make it through the night
I take my name and try it out for size in my mouth,
Swivel it around to see how it feels,
and hide it safe behind my teeth,
Away from all men to see.

I promise myself that at the end of this day
At the end of these triggers,
There are poems waiting for me
Poems of joy and love lost and love regained
Poems of love not toxic
Poems of men who love other men and don't find any fault with that,
Poems of men taking care of their mental,
Poems of Black men embracing at the barbershop,
Poems of Black men loving at the barbershop,
Poems of black arms surrounding me with shoulders and arms that won't cut my throat if I let my love for another man escape the safe jail I've created behind my teeth, the safe silence I sit in when I'm on the Black chair,
Poems of black love,
Poems of black belonging
Poems of home and all the black faces that look like it.
Ben K Ellis Dec 2020
My hair
My nose
My lips
My features

My name
My surname
My middle names
pointing me
to a country that is mine
and at the same time isn't

My having a mother
present and absent
My having a father
present and absent

My accent
My ability to code-switch

My intersections
Sections I belong to
Whether they claim me or not.

My voice
Echoing in empty and full spaces
My tone
My timbre
Reminding you of singers gone yet still present
Phyllis Hyman
Luther Vandross
Donny Hathaway

My colour
To which you are colourblind
Which is to say,
Black enough for you to ignore
But not too black for you to describe into detail when I become an inconvenience


Me, dead
Me, dying
Me
Alive.
Ben K Ellis Dec 2020
To die.
To disappear.
To be taken.
To be shaken by earthquakes and sharks in the water.
To drink the same water the sharks swim in.
To drink the sharks.
To drown in them.
and not die.
To survive,
To come back,
To test nature,
To test resurrection,
To roll back the years.
Simply red waves
Blank stares in eyes
Gone but unable to die completely
Unable to disappear completely
Us, stubborn Black children,
we don't know how to go quietly
we've never been taught silence.
So, to die,
to survive,
to return,
to invite an uprising,
to incite an insurrection,
Us, stubborn Black children,
We just don't know how to die a non-violent death.
We just don't know how to leave without leaving a trace.
We just don't know how to leave the earth without a mark.
No one's taught us how to.
Nicole Nov 2020
Draped in
the cocoon of blackness,
my sweet eyes
stings with your blindness.
Random write :)
Radhika Lusted Sep 2020
Shining a light through
To a place i cannot see
Searching through the darkness
To find the light in me

It comes and goes in waves
As they crash beyond the sea
Illuminating barriers  
That are longing to be free
Grace Sep 2020
I am tired of being black,
Oh—excuse me, should I lie?
Okay, well then golly gee ‘brotha’,
for this blackness I am most willing to die

Oh, ‘brotha’ how much longer must I wear this mask?
Where is Dunbar so we can?
But don’t worry, man. This world won’t be "over-wise"
Cause our skin’s got all the power to hypnotize

When they see this skin, they just gon’ shift the blame
As ign’int slaves is how we done got our fame
I am tired of being black

I am tired of being black,
Oh—excuse me, should I lie?
Okay, well then golly gee ‘brotha’,
for this blackness I am most willing to die
Bhill Aug 2020
the sky darkened and decomposed into the blackness
giving up a trail of reflections and thoughts
thoughts in mind, sleeping into tomorrow
thoughts waiting to be released into the light
ahhhhhhh
feels so delicious to allow new composition to escape

Brian Hill - 2020 # 225
When the world becomes black
Im almost safe
The impossible becomes possible
And the unreal becomes real
My darkness is kept low
And my imagination flys high
But that can only last for so long
The world will come to color
The impossible will escape out of reach
And the unreal will hide away
My darkness will creep back
And my imagination will be shoved in

But eventually I will go back to the blackness,
Forever
We all will
And then we will be safe forever
Falling Asleep and Waking Up.....Then Falling Asleep Forever
Nylee Jul 2020
I haven't even touch upon it
All I see is blackness in my dreams
This darkness follows me like shadow
Is it an indicator to a bleak future
Am I made without a cure
?
monique ezeh Jun 2020
my mother drinks black coffee every day.
i’ve always thought it was strange— why not add a splash of cream to make it a bit easier on the palate? maybe a dash of sugar, too— some sweetness to ease its way down.

my mother's skin is the color of caramel, of coffee diluted with cream and sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. despite this, she gave birth to three children the color of dark chocolate, of the black coffee she so adores.

unlike black coffee, we are not bitter, though the world expects that of us. we are not ugly, either, though they likely expect that, too. we are, perhaps, unpalatable, in the same way that black coffee is unpalatable to those lacking the right palate.

i always wondered why my mother insisted on tasting the bitterness, relishing in the onyx liquid sliding down her throat.
i always wondered why my skin didn’t resemble hers, smooth and unblemished and light and beautiful.
i always wondered why the dark-skinned girls in the magazines always had to have tiny noses and skin as blemishless as fine china.

i wonder, now, why i am so dependent on the splash of cream and dash of cinnamon in my coffee.
i wonder why i’m so wary of the bitterness, of the darkness.

i took my coffee black today. i savored it sliding down my throat, smooth as velvet and not nearly as bitter as i’d thought.
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