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I'm Black and I Ain't Apologizing For It


by Jacquese Armstrong

i travel back to the moan
at my birth’s inception
the moan formed rhythm
unguided
spread through white cotton thorns and hot baked sun
sheltered a people
of no common language

before
the working of a spiritual
before
the blues birth
before any synthetically sung syllable
the moan
was
the travail of a mother in a long
labored
birth

so i come back
‘cause i know
my language/my
utterings
are not my own
(i hear
prosthetic voices
mimic
the night
intense
and i utter)

that’s why i come back
to the moan to break my silence
to
break my fall
to
break my anger
and shatter illusive glass

come back to the moan
to feel
the embrace
(you say resentment)
to feel camaraderie
(you say distrust)
to feel the joy that is mine alone the creative spark
(you say anger)
to feel
the truth

i get a flow
a rhythm
and my ancestors dance
across my page

(why would i re-jail them)

so i travel back
to the moan

the start of my time
to check my pulse
and give back
to caesar what is his.



Photo: Shutterstock

Jacquese Armstrong is a poet/writer/inspirational speaker residing in Central New Jersey. Her work has been published in Black Magnolias Literary Journal, Linden Avenue Literary Journal and BlackMentalHealthNet.com among others.

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