For/after Avery R. Young
Be crucifixion Blk!
Be everything remind me of my daddy Blk!
Fried, dyed, and laid to the side, Blk!
Everybody’s goddaughter Blk!
Been an Auntie since I was 6, Blk!
Don’t like my name in your mouth, blk!
Only my Mama say my name right, Blk!
Teeth can’t get no whiter Blk!
Can’t believe my bones is white, Blk!
Dark as the elbow skin Blk!
Elbow grease for blood Blk!
Want proof I’m Blk, Blk!
The only thing blacker than black is gold, Blk!
Diamonds and pearls Blk!
All I can do is offer you my love, Blk!
Journey away from home is
a journey to home Blk!
Everything is a journey, Blk!
Running is your middle name Blk!
Returning is your middle name Blk!
Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, Blk!
You just don’t care,
My watch say apocalypse, blk!
Tight Jeans, blk! Baggy Jeans blk! No Jeans
Hat so cocked it defy gravity, blk!
Wide-tooth comb, and it still hurt, blk!
Everything I say rhetorical, blk!
as a proverb,
as a bullet.
Blk as nighttime’s daddy.
Blk cuz my heart, cuz my burn, cuz
my home is my body,
every where else is where I stay.
2 blk to fight in Vietnam.
2 blk to off-beat.
2 blk to crooked.
Blk cuz I leave
cuz I remember.
Blk cuz breadcrumbs
Blk cuz nobody want me, but
everybody wanna tell a joke in my language.
Blk cuz they wanna make my mirror look like them
but when I close my eyes,
I see Myself.
ANGEL NAFIS is an Ann Arbor, Michigan native where she resided as the VOLUME youth poetry projects Poet in Residence at the Neutral Zone Teen Center for two years. She represented Ann Arbor in the Brave New Voices festival two years in a row as a member of the Youth Slam Team which performed on the final stages at the San Francisco Opera House and the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Her work has appeared in FOUND Magazine’s Requiem for a Paper Bag (2006), Decibels: An anthology of work by the VOLUME youth poetry project, GirlSpeak Webzine, and The Bear Rivers Writing Conference Online Magazine. She represented the Manhattan LouderArts Poetry Project in the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her own chapbook of poetry is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2011. Earning her Bachelors of Arts in English with a concentration of Creative Writing at Hunter College, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.