"Billie Holiday On Replay"
I apologize for disturbing you while you are asleep.
It’s just that your voice has kept my spirit restless, nights where I’ve wished that the curtain in front of my eyes would come down and cloak the realities of my blackness.
I have seen what you sing of…
Sanguineous leaves on the pavement from Autumns in New York right back to the sound of summertime in the South with Sam Cooke
But living still ain’t easy
in this skin that I’m in.
There are no holidays for colored folk.
Our brothers walk the street in full-time fear of nigger-hunters dressed in uniform.
Or any non-colored resident in the state of Florida who carries a gun with a silencer engraved in American law.
We still sing the blues like you used to because we are in perpetual mourning.
The trees are not the only ones bare in the winter.
There are childless mothers with lips that are naked, chapped and dry, unable to kiss the oil from the face of her firstborn.
Plucked from the family tree
Left in the middle of the street
Blood puddling like the crushed grapes
In the bag of groceries he held on his way home.
They still see us as strange fruit
Food for them to eat
As if we all didn’t fall from the same tree
as Adam and Eve.