Black Angels Do Exist

A poem about the POC lived experience

Art by Ranuka Tandan.

yesterday I called you an angel and you smiled in
bitter air it
cuts tongues in half, so
I cannot say my name, so
I am named instead by such loud words, see:

here I stand, that violent tragic ghost
they warned you of.
didn’t you know that a black person living is invisible?
I breathe my own corporeality out hard
through my nose, it is cold

tell me how to hold myself and all this death too
my skin is gravel made smooth
up close the specks dance
off a bridge again and again
remind me, how many black bodies make a black person?

in drier air my name spills so strong out of mouths that know
it means ‘saint’

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