In between love affairs
I stopped worrying about
my peculiar loneliness.
I don’t search for reason or blame.
I don’t worry that men come
and go through my life
wounded by my hand,
to my own self-inflicted injuries.
I try not to worry too much
because Black men die too frequently
from strokes as fatal as hammer blows.
My hair is growing thin,
my stomach a little weak and nervous.
I have only tired once to kill myself,
but I was too young to understand
how to die.
So nothing happened
when I held my breath.
I’m still here hanging on
refusing to be intimidated.
I worry about this planet,
this human wilderness.
What is called “advanced civilization”
means we are all closer to death.
I worry about the tempers
between men who build bombs.
Men who seek different satisfactions
Their collision would mean the end of life
as I come out of the morning subway
unaware their tempers flared
between Dupont Circle
and Judiciary Square.
I worry about melting down.
catching man-made diseases
in the bus stations,
being a suspect because I live in South East,
because I’m the same color as the assailant,
the thief, the night,
because i think the street boat
will take me home
but it takes me out,
because I want everything to look lovely
I take a toke or two,
because PCP makes me do wild things,
makes me think I’m a white man
so I kill, steal, and thrill myself,
but I’m too dark to escape the consequences,
I’m too proud to imitate a beast.
I don’t worry about
where my next love is gonna come from.
It will sneak up on me
and rape me in the serious moonlight.
’In The Life: A Black Gay Anthology’ (Edited by Joseph Beam)
pp. 82 - 83