“Lower the Pitch of Your Suffering”
November 2, 2016
Nov 2, 2016
. . . Free is not a negro doused
in white, blanched,
bleached, and sent down
the path. Free
almost never means alive, so
I’m asking for help.
“Lower The Pitch of Your Suffering” takes its title verbatim from a work of the same name by artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and is after a poem of the same title by Morgan Parker, which is after Rasheed’s artwork.
I know my suffering is loud but my skin
is light as sky and I was told to let it
open doors, shake hands, slip the cover
over their eyes, so I could be. Free
is not a negro doused in white, blanched,
bleached, and sent down the path. Free
almost never means alive, so please try—
I’m asking for help. Whose fist is in my ribs
at which gate. What color is the moon.
How do I move the line when it is buried
in the earth. Why do you think my face
is the face you think you see. In the earth.
In the water. Where can I rest my feet.
My hands. My tongue. My lungs. My eye.
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November 02, 2016