Poetry Archive

In the Land of Milk and Honey We Are Lactose Intolerant and the Bees Are Dying


<span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@cooper_baumgartner?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Cooper Baumgartner</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/american-flag-protest?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>


In the Land of Milk and Honey We Are Lactose Intolerant and the Bees Are Dying 

I hold these truths to be self evident


that this country is full of shit.

It sucks the marrow out
of our bones.
It makes a thick succulent gravy
out of us,
calls it Negro fusion cuisine.

Don’t confuse a beautifully set table
and a well worded invite with a welcome.

We are the meal.
We are the dessert.
We are what America
chews on with her back teeth
until we become dust.

Hide a fork in your starched white napkin.
When America turns her head

all the way around like a haunted barn owl.
Stab her in the jugular and remind her she is an Eagle.

Tell her in her left ear, you are a vulture,
A Black crow,
A hoodoo descendant,
A night woman,
A banshee,
A blood hound.

Tell America you are a woman
who has fantasized how to kill her
in the most inventive ways.

Tell America your song
will be the last song she ever hears.

It is be sung in the shrill key of a C-note,
a hot fevered pitched southern drawl
from the throat of a daughter that she forgot
she gave birth to.


Janel Cloyd is a Poet, Writer and Essayist. She has been awarded a Willow Arts Alliance Residency with history concentration in the Weeksville African American Cultural Arts Center.  She has been awarded Fellowships from VONA, Dream Yard and the Watering Hole. Publications include: The Black Lives Have Always Mattered Anthology edited by Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets, Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement, & The Muse Anthology.   The Yellow Chair, Poeming Pigeon and Cave Canem Digital, Gathering Round, Peregrine Journal, About Place Journal, Acentos Review, Emotive Fruition and Stone Coast Review.   Cloyd is a mixed media artist with a concentration in collage, paper arts, fiber, poetry, text, and images.  Her work explores and embraces the themes of womanhood, spirituality, and the body aesthetic. 


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