Excerpt from #WhiteBoo: For Yolanda Retter


 For Yolanda Retter

No one
taught us
how to live
and receive

we waited
for our golden calf
any form of recognition
stated in the positive

there was alcohol
in abundance
silly smoke screens
that obscure

an honest reflection
the laws on books
you took to task
first in this city

you took issue
with history
you made it possible

absolutely life depending
to question authority
your life’s work
because life is work

took work
to appreciate
you beat your chest
refusing mea culpa

slighting the white woman
I was with that night
asking her not where she was from
but when was she going to

fuck up on me; it was you way
of saying hello.

a warrior of the body politic
the kind of fighter
that leaves on her armor
only to see my reflection

in your metal chestplate
to see what
often goes unseen
seldom a voice

yes, the armor is a mirror
that speaks roughly