i can too easily see myself in sepia—
toes reaching for the dirt,
empty eyes reflecting the sun,
my neck stretched out to greet heaven—
i’ve never been taller.
—a neighborhood where his father had calloused his soles
on unpaved boulevards,
closed off from the world by Southern mentality.
the train had brought us back downtown,
a re-claim staked at center court.
My non-black friends suffer from memories that I can hardly imagine, and I don’t doubt the depth of their scars. But I know that certain stains on my sadness are not shared between us; they are not due to a chemical imbalance or personal trauma. They are marks left simply because of the color that I was born.