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TWO POEMS  photo

December 11, 2019


Simone Person

To the White Woman in Dayton, Ohio Holding an I ONLY SUCK BLACK DICK Sign at the Counter-Protest to a KKK Rally in 2019

White women are gonna put me and mine
in an early grave too hidden for our families to find. 

When I say I’m tired, I mean bone-deep. I mean, once,
a white woman just like you cried whistle

and a boy never came home. You don’t trust that Blackness lives
outside plantations, or growing red-wide in the street from holes smoked

into our backs. It’s hard not to feel like some part of us is always
on the auction block or divided up and jellied for future

generations. I know safety isn’t real. I have too many ghosts 
on my doorstep. I’m all out of charm. But you knew that. 

You didn’t come all this way for me. Just for the picture. 
Just for the chance to rattle the slick of your spit 

at all your crafted monsters. If a white woman could save the world 
with only the flick of her tongue, she still wouldn’t do it if no one was looking. 




      After Kenneth Goldsmith’s reading of Michael Brown’s autopsy as conceptual poetry in 2015

There’s a white man who says he knows

the destructions of our bodies. Monotones

reports compiled from the trials of our ghosts. Calls it

experimental, transcendental, unflinching opening

into the seeds of poplar trees. An effort in undoing.

Good thick rope that doesn’t know

how to loop around the army of a neck.

He excises his name’s gloam, makes myth, 

clinks champagne bottles with the rain of white voices heavy

on our heads. Oh, the joyous safety of never seeing

your blood marbling the streets. Of cramped family

reunions inside obituary. What sweet-sharp relief it must be to leave

home in the morning and know you’ll always come back.