Charleston Blue, a poem by Kandace Walker.

CHARLESTON BLUE

Blacker than man.

Blacker than tar.

Blacker than feathers.

Blacker than dancing.

Blacker than a grand jury.

Blacker than riot,

than air thick with burning.

Blacker than a mother’s milk.

Blacker than driftwood.

Blacker than an ocean.

Blacker than a continent.

Blacker than the belly of a blackbird’s wings.

Blacker than a body in a river

which, from the bird’s perspective, looks

like a country.

Blacker than the black tree bough.

Blacker than mourning.

Blacker than music.

Blacker than the smallest definition of free,

blacker than air.

Black as the girl who tried folding herself

into something blacker than wind.

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