They could deal with the Negro as a symbol or a victim but had no sense of him as a man.
Nature, we have spent our many lives
our scowl colossal, half-light
stripped from eye and sockets,
that song bojangling, unrecognizable.
Home some brute sojourn
we wracked unspeakable, we mute vernacular
smashed nuclear sun and this code-switch.
All night the world bled on my fang
like a language and we unsmiling
our narrow gape
our space unslanging,
And all of us a zero.
Count old catalogues of bone, hair, teeth:
How broad how thick how beastly
and you the glass beaker of seeds
who gauge minute fractions of man, am I Orang-utan
Or am I savage? Neighbour,
I am naming you damned.
Blood brother, trained guerilla, renegade.
Killer. Threat of the Africanized bee.
Are we unsymmetry, skulls a million unfillable,
this dark uranium. With life half-cycling.
The parched chopper circling.
Cowed mammoth in the weeds.
Tag skin, brain, misdemeanour.
What was left to inherit?
Nation, we are silencing
our many voice rehearsing
your shadow plays; a knock,
a hard knock, an illiterate dream;
O snuffed singularity—
How bright the searchlight
of our homecoming: black comet
sprawling past black infinity, black heavens.