Black

Inside the prison of my skin

I walk afraid to make contact

Like a trapped animal I skitter against concrete walls, trying to claw my way into its depths

A convenience store is a suicide chamber

To the world I have no mother, sister, brother

I am just a black man dropped like rotten fruit into the quagmire you called America

If I don’t sink into oblivion be assured a “blessed one” will go out of their way to step on me, bury me, suffocate me, blow me away

Driving a car is like sitting in a grenade waiting for a white cop to pull the plug

I am not a man, I am a threat, something akin to the plaque I must be eradicated less I be contaminated

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in my skin…

Take your worst nightmare being chased by a city of zombies

Eaten alive as you live

Throw in that dream of you naked in public

Filled with shame and helplessness

Think of taunting an ass, toiling and starving as that carrot is held just out of reach

Think of what despair feels like

Think of denial

Think of failed dreams

Think of lack of opportunities

Think of the apocalypse

From the day I was born to the day I died I only knew my skin was a desolate place known as the black man’s prison

 

Samantha McLeod