21: he really pulled it off / by LaQuann Dawson

do you hear that loud ringing
in your ear?

the sound of the locusts applauding your new leader        
swarm to devour everything growing
make way for new world order        the new american dream
all hail your 45th president              Mr.     donald     trump

do you hear the white noise
marching down the streets of 5th Avenue
chanting “USA USA USA” with picket signs that look like torches
with grins that look like the 1800s    a celebration of renewed greatness

do you hear the white man
calling his work a movement
history repeated
a reflection of the people

do you hear the white men
taking back their country, painting it red
the spit in their mouths
lubricating their crooked yellow smiles

flames
burn the love poems in my journal
tell them they don’t matter
like we don’t matter    cause we don’t matter    

blood
cover the soles of our shoes and
the front of our shins as we tread
hundreds of dead black bodies on the way to work

tears
drawn from those overwhelmed with
thought of america’s future    and past greatness   
evaporate into nothing

hatred
painted on walls of elevator doors
the left side of a Christian church
the tongue of a white wing boy uncloseted

have you ever felt like you were going to vomit
a man you never even swallowed
watch your President shake his hand
your President's palms embracing last nights snack with mask of reluctance and nausea

do you fantasize blood
as red and orange as your country's hands
are your thoughts as black
as your skin and your funeral garment

we gon' be alright
this ain't the first time we chose the wrong man
ain't the first time the wrong man chose us
ain't the first time our hearts dropped to our stomachs and we still be here

so are you ready to step outside tomorrow       mourning
and the next day    and the next day    and the next day
and fake a smile at your neighbors who tried to kill you
during last night’s purge

are you ready to send your children off to school
knowing they need no crayon to illustrate oppression
fearing livelihood and conversation to
be

to decide on
the highroad, or highway to hell
when you already occupy it, when you already live there
revolt

no dream too big
no challenge too great
no country too large
nothing beyond reach        for the rich white man

they took it back
they took us back
and we watched in horror
thought it a joke                treat it a joke

he really pulled it off
he really pulled it off