we arrived

with our feet
sturdied on pavements
built by grandmothers
whose faces lay
against the
cold ground
tonguing concrete
with prayer
and by grandfathers
with batons
against their backs
their necks
wet with fear
turning screams
to sediment
against the spewing
of hoses

were product
of pentax
and Gordon Parks
probing only
of Freedom's Fearful Foe
as it lived on film

to sing
a different song
but sampled
the chorus
of our forerunners
into breakbeats
and our lyrics
still groaned
in twelve bars
and crooned
in harmonic seventh

we hit
that ground
breaching picket fences
of suburbs
and burial grounds
turned ivy leagues
pledging allegiance
to student loan debt
and medical debt
and credit card debt
and forever
to the burden
of this flag

perhaps if we
made use
of microscopes
of search engines
we'd note
that 9/11
was just a prelude
to Martial Law


we'd retrieve
our reprise
of relief
when helicopters
stopped hovering
over buildings
of ghettos
the day those planes
crashed into towers

we'd know
the hurricane
flooding of downtown
meant soon landlords
would hike rents
in black meccas
that black meccas
would become ghost towns
filled with empty condos
that bodegas
would turn into
corner museum
of imitation food
that imitation food
would become norm
to the working poor
that the working poor
was just experiment
for survival guides
and survival guides
were a nuisance
to the those whose bias carried
them only to the present
but whose death
lived on in wills

what change
has come
if only
to become caricature
to the burden
of manifest destiny?
what future
have we
if our sins
lay bloodied
by fantasy
and desire
of our own bodies?
whose thesis
are we
if our bodies
are made as sacrifice
upon surrender?








Akeema-Zane is a writer, researcher and performer bred and residing in Harlem of Afro-Caribbean descent. Her recent works include "La Blanchisseus," "There's A Monopoly on Change"  and "In-Room 1317."