2018 Poetry Contest Second Place Winner

by Carlynn Newhouse

Do you see this?

This, is black magic in the making
Which is to say that I am beautiful, and black
Which is to say yes, I can be both at the same time

Do you know how exhilarating it is to be a brown body
not claimed by a mortician bag
or a hashtag?

Tonight, we soar without being dragged down by stereotypes, or expectations, or handcuffs

Tonight we will laugh and drink cool aid, and Cupid shuffle
Tonight we will be human and alive and be as black as we want to be

Tonight there will be no funerals

Because in the morning our struggle will be there
Tomorrow the bullets will come looking for us like hound dogs chasing runaway slaves
Tomorrow our timelines will be flooded with hashtags and body bags
Tomorrow we will see more Freddie’s, and Sandra’s, and Trayvon’s, that never asked to be a part of this movement

Tomorrow there will be funerals

So tonight let’s live
Don’t we deserve it?
After four hundred years don’t we deserve tonight?