Woman Protester
By Joseph Hope

She’s not crazy        Just hurt
Her vitals ripped off         her husband
screaming through the wall
her son
whispering from a shallow grave she can’t find
She’s not crazy         Just hurt
Grief cuts her to invisible sizes      She’s sick
because the constitution is sick     a plague
eating the girl      the mother      the wife          the allotropes of
the element called woman
She’s not crazy         Just hurt
She bends      She breaks     She disfigures herself
to the pleasant shape her masters want to see
She’s not crazy        Just damn hurt
Her bones            rattling like a second voice
protesting her invisible anguish


Praise Song

If you are a seedling
I will plant you inside my garden.

And arrange your flowers
inside a golden vase like rare pearls
—an artifact as old as history.

Like liquid diamonds, like blood
running through the veins of nature,

your aura lingers on the colourful sheet
of the universe like a canvas painting
made from the breath of God.

Oh! Black gods &
goddesses of beauty—bless.

How fortunate to be black!
—The sun glitters off your skin
like you are a living diamond.

Splendour surrounds your ivory bed
like petals from Olympus,

glittering pearls in your mountains—
your sophisticated beauty.

And if you are a seedling
I will swallow you—

perhaps you will grow
inside my body
like a second heart.

Joseph Hope is a metaphor for what can be. Peace!

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