Black Angels

Black Angels

What if Gabriel was melanin

At visitation?

What if Michael’s mahogany hands

Expelled the dragon?

What if cherubims and seraphims

Sing behind ebony wings?

They say all angels are white,

Bright, as stars tracked across midnight skies.

When I look around, I find my angels here.

They’re departed brothers damned as criminals,

Sisters slain like demons by the law.

They’re immortalized in chants and banners;

See excellence as resistance and survival.

In certain spaces I feel their presence rest:

Silent Bible study halls, chained-linked courts,

intersections between stoplights and lynched Jordans.

In the rhythm of the spirituals, A Love Supreme,

Nina’s ballads, Marvin’s soul, I hear them whisper:

We’ll meet you at the mountaintop.

Are they too dark to soar in glory?

Do they not deserve their place by the Son?

Forced Removal

Forced Removal

I speak aloud

for shattered door frames

silent screams echoing

against grimy hallways

the pan of rice and beans

burning on the stove

the splintered chair upended,

staring into space

chipped plates and cups

assembled but still starving

visa papers browning in the dust

the overturned candle,

melted wax veiling the Lady’s face

For a home uprooted and torn in two

I speak aloud.