Patrick White (September l5, l948 / Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada)
We're Walking On Mars And Yet Down Here
We’re walking on Mars and yet down here
we’re still treating each other as aliens
we hate. Retrograde biases looping our heads
in a noose. Strange fruit. Did a Boy Scout teach you to do that?
What colour do you think an albino
would paint his skin if he had a palette of melanin?
White paper, black conte, every portrait
starts with an outline, but the face of a human
shines like character from the inside out.
Even the stars move through their lives
from violet to red like the order of the turning
of maple leaves in autumn, or a rainbow.
Eighteen million people kidnapped, enslaved,
worked to death and murdered as if murder were a sport
just to boost production and profits in cotton
to keep up to the invention of the cotton ginn
and wrap the skin of London in whole cloth,
much like Bangladesh even as we speak,
and when that dynastic link eventually broke,
and Reconstruction undid the liberation
six hundred thousand people had died for,
the poor killing the poor for the rights of the rich,
and the economic foodchains that were placed
on the scars of the backs that bore them
tasted just the same as the snakepit of whips
they’d recently thrown off, as the night closes in
on that little white ice-floe in the midst
of the global warning you ignore, you’re still
trying to convince your festering self
you’re a waterlily when, in fact, you’re a corpse flower
with a moral life of pus and a gangrenous spirit.
Let’s say like it is. You hate black people
because your victims learned more from you
than you did from them, and that ain’t creationism,
brother, that’s the straight up skinny on evolution.
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