Melanin in the Sun

Melanin in the Sun 

by Paul Ayo

This is Melanin in the Sun.
A letter in the margin.
Cell blocks that hold the innocent.
Choose bread over bombs.

This is the inner-city going off.
Beat Boxes and public housing,
Gentrification in turning tables,

“Injustice anywhere
Is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We are King’s Dream remixed in skin.

Shackles cannot hold our voice.

Our Freedom is constructed in the Constitution.

I forgot my right to bear arms
There is no constitutional
Amendment that gives
Anyone a right to an education.

And we be wondering why
Folks BE freedom fightin’.
Talkin’ ‘bout “Giv-es us free.”
You see, Reading… and standard
English …Don’t Fix No Chevys.
But I can spell Chevrolet and Hate,
Us and Them, One people
BE too impossible.

So, sift us through: ghettoes, trailer
Parks, barrios, suburbs and gates.
This is beyond: Flight, Guilt,
Entitlement, Privilege
O’Reilly, Beck, and Limbaugh.

This is melanin in the sun.

Raisins are too kind, flesh
Bleeds and burns if left for
Too long in the sunlight.

And I can’t tell you
Enough times, an
Uneducated mind is
Mississippi Burning.

And with the light from
The flames, I can
Voodoo prisons with
No chains, blaze crosses with fire
Swasticize your mind
And raise the sun above it.

What about
Civil disobedience?
What about
Being the change?
What about your “…Dream

Deferred” in sunlight.
The rude mechanics of who we are
Written in skin,
Rotten in light,
Waitin’ in hearts.

Let this be the last time
We choose sleep over action.

This was Melanin in the sun.


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