Revolutionary Love

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For My Own Protection

 I want to start
an organization
to save my life.
If whales, snails,
dogs, cats,
Top Shop, and Boris
can be saved,
the lives of Black men
are priceless
and can be saved.
We should be able
to save each other.
I don't want to wait for the I.F.S.
to release a study
stating Black men
are almost extinct.
I don't want to be
the living dead
pacified with drugs
and sex.
If a human chain
can be formed
around missile sites,
then surely Black men
can form human chains
around Damilola, Justin Fashanu
Toxteth, Handsworth
BGC, each other?
If we have to take tomorrow
with our blood are we ready?
Do our high-low fades,
Air-pods, or box-fresh crèps
make us any more ready
than yesterday’s flat top or Jeri curl?
I'm not concerned
about the attire of a soldier.
All I want to know
for my own protection
we capable of
Adapted from Essex Hemphill – Ceremonies 1992