so-treu: Sarah Jones, “Blood" it is the thickest blood on this…


Sarah Jones, “Blood"

it is the thickest blood on this planet
the feet that slip
that slide in spilled lakes of black blood
on back roads marked with rusted dead-end signs
they don’t fit into any shoes
not Nikes
not Reeboks
they make them in sweat shops across the sea
turn around and sell them right back to you
and you
and me
for fifty times their value
but none of them can hold the blood
that coagulated not-so-long ago
in the lower extremities
of brown-skinned corpses strung up from trees
like drying figs
or hanging potpourri
to sweeten scenes of Southern gallantry

before cushioned insoles and arch supports
there were feet that sank in rusted chains
backs that cracked beneath the weight of slave names
like Jones, Smith, Johnson, Williams, or even
black butts that bore marks forever
from irons that preceded those for
pressing and curling naps yanked straight
before relaxers, weaves, pink lotion
talkin’ ‘bout branding irons, son
now that you’ve crossed the ocean, right
step up here, little nigger, on the auction block
open up that mouth—yes, nice strong teeth
nice muscle tone, a fine specimen
you must be worth at least ten dollars, maybe more
see here, ladies and gentlemen, how much can I get for
this here barely used, top of the line
fast forward that shit to Calvin Klein
and modern ownership tags for black behinds
courtesy of Ralph Lauren
well how low can ya go
call on black consumers if you want the cash flow
‘cause they quick to flip and spend up all they dough
don’t front money, act like you know
we give it up to the Brooklyn malls
we give it up to the Uptown malls
‘cause the white folks figure
ain’t no questions for a nigger
that material possessions can’t answer
we’ll stay preoccupied with what we wear and what we drive
while our mothers are dying of cancer
we’ll tuck our low self-esteem into some Eurotrash jeans
some overpriced shit from Donna Karan
then we’ll toast with Hennessy
to covert white supremecy
hiding the thickest blood on this planet
we wearin’ it
under our clothes
the way God dressed our souls
it is the thickest blood on this planet
the blood that sprays and spills in buckets
soaks and stains the nightly news
but fuck it, a colored life still ain’t worth but a few ducats
that blood can’t be contained by any mind that cannot see
a great black forest for all these cracker trees
afroMadonna and child
and child
and child
and (woops) there goes another one
‘cause nowadays mamas don’t know the answers
so babies gots ta’
say youngblood, you wanna tell me what Georges Marciano
ever did for a black man, boricua, chicano
brothers and sisters
their pockets like blood blisters
ready to pop, ooze and drop cash
so hot and so fast it makes a spark
and our children say,
yeah, Mami, now I got my upside down triangle
my designer question mark

why ask why it doesn’t make you complete
it’s vanilla concealer for your chocolate heartbeat
pumping the thickest blood on this planet
while we all take it for granted that
more Selma churches won’t be bombed
more bullet riddled bodies won’t be embalmed
another cop won’t commit murder, turn around and get a raise
while we’re picking over the racks
from white-owned Dr. Jays to Modell’s/Barney’s/Macy’s/Saks
they just think we ain’t never gonnna change our ways
‘cause then we might finally taste the blood of rage
at the back of our throats
and answer Massa back
Nawsuh, I’se don’t want to wear yo’ britches
Nawsuh, I’se don’t want to grant yo’ wishes
that all us negroes should continue to hide
in your shoes and your clothes as if we should take pride
in your savage traditions
mass genocide
all the spirits you extinguished
never batted one blue eye
yet you’re vultures on our culture like white on brown rice
leech our blood, then sell it back
brown, yellow, black
special price

it is the blood that races through the African veins of the child
on his way to the mall in White Plains
to catch a confused-lost-land-stealing Columbus-
day sale
on a Fila jogging suit for his brother in jail
that blood is my blood
your blood
our blood
the thickest blood on this planet

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