Against the Current: Collective works on State Violence, identity and Resistance

For H.M.




girl so tall with legs so strong

shook the stage with a voice so sweet

but in the laugh she shows the truth of the matter

every syllable comes off her tongue infl-i-ecting power

Mojiola she introduces herself with a boom

I have woken up into nobility, I am queen

moves with grace, poised moment ready to strike


papa from Nigeria, man ready to throw the punches

Momma boring boring beautiful, duck duck goose

white momma black papa made three healthy babies

from love, friendship always,though the marriage didn’t last.

H, youngest of three sisters all so beautiful the world

hesitated, pressed pause when each came to take

their first steps, the world started recording all three

a trio of the perfect balance, brewed by the gods

the three were too bright too much too strong

for new hampshire, the whiteness of the northern prison

H, one of three token blacks at stuffy stuffy private school

first generation college, low income (not a hindrance

but a challenge) knew she could do anything she put

her mind to she was the best she was the best, Queen.

She repeats I am queen-- nobody doubts her, captain of

soccer, captain of basketball, captain of lacrosse, five state

championships in four years, near perfect academic record

her mind brilliant, her body strong, agile flexible face beauty of grace

she is the powerhouse her voice booms and the rest

of us take notice, when she speaks we the classmates listen!


all three feel the itching to leave new england by womanhood

too much of the wrong kind of space, they are city women

wanted the space of the streets to march to strut in high

heels and combat booties no more snow mittens of woods

that try to devour you alive in avalanches of nonsense


when H threw her name into the collegiate raffle it smiled

and drew her first, into every top tier she went--

accepted Georgetown’s flirtations, to follow big sis

A, woman who knew how to use a camera

who had already discovered how big the world really was

taught H how to dance to the music of possibility

big big sister M sews them clothes to feel the

movement of strong legs bare feet the open world



they dance in tandem-- african rhythms coming out through their souls

H tells me her brain stops her brain stops when she’s dancing

they move in unison together there is but one drum beat they follow


A and H they are children of the gods, touched finger of

Blessing to foreheads they had a vision of brilliance-- they make

a movie a movie of hope it wins everything, so many awards

the gods chuckle they roar with laughter, with pride



The film introduces a young girl who will become the messiah

After chanting names and names and names of goodbye

now decibels in the loud beating of the drum but she will

wake them all up she pulls the umbrella out from underneath

The remaining bullets from the strangers from the horror

She splashes water on the remaining warriors she is the call

It is H's voice narrating she tells the story

Of police brutalities of police vandals of who is the real bully


H’s  voice cries out the warning call, laments the fear--

afraid of being black, of being woman, of being queer

Of being at the wrong time place at the wrong time

She says she is afraid, but the young child steals the hat

from the police officer and that is what hope looks like

believe her more when She screams her rights

her voice raises power, raising her voice the sky is grey


Always knows when she is right H is the true messiah

Sent by the gods to wake the hashtags up to make us all woke

To end the millennial bullshit, to splash water on those who are

too dry, too comfortable, this video is the message it

Is not the end product but the beginning, it is her warm up

dance routine for the rest of her life--


The little girl in the video is not her it is played by an actor

But the little girl in the video is H the girl is H

She does not know it is her yet but she has the feeling

The way the colors of her sleeves move the air around her

the conversation between her skin and movement screams it


she knows a storm is coming she can feel it in her dancing bones

But she is also a storm, and she has two wicked sisters, good things

Always come in threes she is lucky she has the touch of her momma’s

irish between the black power of black goddess of black queen

in her soul



She reveals over coffee that her next project is interviews

she’s got madame gandhi on her lineup she’s ready to hear her speak

She wants to hear the voice of woke, she wants to record the voices

of black warriors of black women chiefs she wants to be at the front lines

I tell her I’m currently listening to that voice, her voice is so smooth,

she smiles she smiles beautiful beautiful big.


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