This morning. At 6:55am. A womxn, black was executed. After dropping Her child off at his workplace, A mothasistah was accosted. Six hours and fifty-five minutes after midnight, The morn opened up and dimmed in shame at the annihilation of an already Ripped soul. This morning. A sista’ - In aisle 5 for rice and soup - Compared products for the most natural quinoa and kale mix Acme could offer. Her focus was abrubtly Interrupted by loud laughter gruff voices and spirited flirting wrapped in buttermilk intonations of carefree-isms that only paled colonizers could enjoy – If only that sister knew. Knew that the hardfloored food shop Faintly transmitting Barry Manilow lullabyes Was to quickly turn into a fight of wills where she would be Defeated. Defaced. Dismantled. Damaged. Declined. Denied. Destroyed. Yes, at 6:55 in the morning, When lovers pleasure in fleshy hors d’oeuvres And babies cry out for rescue And sister matriarchs adjust their hats for morning service, Willie Lynch’s grandson – Juneteenth times removed – walked down aisle 5 where An unsuspecting Queen Would be slayed in her space. She saw him coming. The owner of the brash mouthpiece that voiced-over Barry’s crooning. Elmer Fudd-flapped hat shading un-manicured eyebrows. Brown eyes of indifference over a multi-colored gaiter Dookie-brown Dickies jacket Camouflage, flannel shirt Blue jeans over polished-bright cowboy boots. Whitey’s in the house gait. Middle class white man with white sheet shadow – Good ‘ol boy. 30 seconds. That’s all it took to know – No eye contact would be made. No fake pleasantries would be had. Focus on the damn quinoa. You’re alone. Let’m pass… When the coast is clear, get to the line. Wait. Somethin’ ain’t right, chile. Whatcho’ self… Great-grandma’s voice gave a warning shot to her gut. But before she could flee – Good morning! Silence. Good ‘ol boy was behind her. Did he forget about 6 feet? Did he see the fuckin’ masked message? Black Lives Matter. Red and white lettering. She returned the sentiment with lead in her voice. No welcome. Monotone dread. The aisle turned into a shack in the back of Massa’s Big House. He then positioned himself a foot away next to her. Thinking back His breath was sugary hungry with heat. Oh, I thought they changed it! But it’s the same. Sistah fixed her eyes on the prices. Was there a sale she missed? She chuckled the words, “Umm, yeah…” Like good Black folx feel due them for no reason. Sweating Scared Shrinking Seized. Why? Barry’s and shoppers’ voices and footsteps afar kept her company, But she was alone in this shack. I mean, they wanna take that girl off the Land’O Lakes and all that mess with the pancakes and syrup! I mean, look, he’s just fine! Thank goodness they didn’t change it! Change? Wait. What. Wait….Wait. She was so fixed on quinoa and kale and yellow rice She didn’t see. Like on the auction block. Afraid to look away. Immobile. Fearing lashes Pain Death. She looked where the pale finger pointed: Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben’s. Fuckin’ Uncle Ben. Blaqwomxn’s vision got blurry. Wasn’t no tears. It was fire. Heart-clinching, labor-pained Hand-squeezing intensity in wanting to take his life like his folks take pleasure in doing publicly. Spit and carbon dioxide choked her into a yielding subject. Nope. Naw, kid, this ain’t happenin’… Yo! Who the fuck is he talkin’ to? But her lips clamped Around the fatigue the toil the permanent injuries and the stillness of an infinite midnight where she was looking at herself on a cooling board. Gone. Seriously, we have bigger fish to fry! For Godsakes! She couldn’t move. She Reared by NYC bloodlines who stood with Huey and Bobby Assigned to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X at 8 Taught to not trust whitey Taught by them to hate self Ridiculed by them at slumber parties as they parted her nappy roots Broken by them when they framed her male seeds Fucked by them every step of her way – She was paralyzed. Anger refused to roar. Her pain stayed in her gut like a held-in sneeze. Her right got wronged. So, in awkward silence Good ‘ol Boy decided His job was done. Another nigga’ Put in their place In that shack Where he dicked her royally Completely. she liked it. That Indian liked it. Fat Mammy liked it. Uncle Ben liked it. Because she had the right to remain silent. And she did. Have a great day! And with that he walked off. That brokenspiritofasistah Stood there forever. Outlining Uncle Ben’s face On a crisp box of bullshit. All of this was bullshit. A wolf in Good ‘ol Boys’s clothing won that day. Without a fight. Emptied what was left of her With her gagging consent. At 6:55 in the morning She realized that not much has changed. That even the strong become dumb and mute. Get rattled and ravaged Left for dead. She turned Uncle Ben around. He’d seen enough. Of her failing him. And she walked out the door. Without the quinoa. Without the kale. Without her.
Image by Laura James
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