This Burning House


In 100 lifetimes

these chapters will

read too well 

how we rang alarms

stomped tired feet

in harmony, and how

you came with

rivers of respectability

but not a molecule of water

to put out the fire

Junior warned us of

the streets ran red

with our blood

then black

with our fist,

then pink

with our tongues,


you saw how fast

these broken windows

became broken windows

for token negroes,

taking these blows 


so easily

you've chose

this moment

this sonic quaking

of atonement

as brutal labor

for eardrums

that coughing.



y'all been hearing

are your children's children

choking on the smoke