#blacklivesmatter poems: Circus and other poems

June 29, 2021

Colllage concept by Keyonte with images from Isabellaquintana and igorda888 at Pixabay

Keyonte Brissett exploring her black identity and the depths of institutional racism

CIRCUS
Look at my painted smile
Hiding my authentic frown
Let my red kinky curls distract you
I’ll stick an afro comb in there for fun.

Laughing is appropriate
At the sight of my colourful exterior
Maybe if I didn’t juggle on my words so much
I’d be a little cheerier.

It’s not offensive that the elephant
Isn’t the craziest thing about this place
It takes a mask of pigment
To not make me wanna hide my face.

Can you smell the peanuts?
Some candyfloss?
That’s the smell of comfort food
Comfort my feelings till they’re lost, down and chewed.

Join the circus
You can’t beat me
I’m the starring show.

Honk my horns
Don’t touch my hair
I’m a lyricist with a jester’s flow.

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜

MR OFFICER
What’s wrong, Mr Officer?
Why’ve you come to my home?
I’m an innocent old woman
Couldn’t you call the phone?

What’s wrong, Mr Officer?
Would you like something to drink?
A cup of tea, some coffee?
Perhaps something to eat?

What do you mean, Mr Officer?
Don’t lie to me
He’s a good boy with good grades
He’s only 15.

Oh, please, Mr Officer In the name of God
Tell me it’s not true
He’s the only thing I have
God, tell me
What am I to do?

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜

THE DARK
I cannot sleep in the dark
I need a beacon of white to bless my slumber
Wrap me up.

The dark haunts me with fear and wonder
Camouflaged skin within the anchor dragging me under.

I am the dark haunting their dreams at night
The fuel to their fire
Filling them with rage and spite.

I am the dark blinding them with hues of red
Splatters of crimson bringing confusion to our heads.

But if I am the dark that I fear all so much
Why can’t I understand their anger?
Why do I feel so out of touch?

The dark I fear is the unknown
The inability to see in the comfort of my own home.

Their dark is the pigments intertwined in my genetics
A shell of melanin without plastic and cosmetics.

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜

VIOLENT SILENCE
Your silence is violence
A sharp knife in your hand
That you cannot feel
When you’re at your quietest.

What stops your mouth from moving?
Plaguing your feed
Or contributing to systemic greed?
Essentially, you’re complying
It hurts to be honest
Because you know that it’s wrong
Doing anything but trying.

This world’s bigger than you or me
Your eyes glued to a black screen
Disguised as activism.

Activism isn’t a void
It’s shouting
Loud words of truth
The ignorant are doubting.

I’ve been roaming the streets
And in every eye I meet
I see a mirror of my grief and pain
Staring right back at me.

Your silence is violence
And I’m listening
You’re wounding my body
With your whispering.

With black skin I have lived this truth
It’s not your job as a Caucasian youth
To tell me I’m not hurting.

Your silence is violence
Please speak up
Be the change I am yearning.

Keyonte likes going to concerts and writing stories and poetry. She is starting her second year at college studying Psychology, English Literature and Classics. She hopes study to literature at university and would like to be an author.

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