A Ghazal for the Colored Girls

        after Bobby McFerrin’s rendition of Sweet in the Morning

After the nighttime shootings comes sweet in the morning 
Our mouths sky-open with the weight of the mourning

Good lord, we berries of the land forced to ripen each morning
Only to be smashed underfoot while we undo vendettas every fucking morning.

Did you know this chaffing of our skin is new every morning? 
That each patch of our skin holds the bitter fruit of mourning?

Hear that sweet in the morning, dulcet, languid morning 
Wail from the girls whose bodies don’t get to mourn in

Peace? That’s the ancestors mourning.
Their battle cry unheard yet moored to the present warning.

Come, sweet God, won’t you carry us home this morning. 
Every single black woman I see alive is a miracle in mourning.

How hard it must be to #SayHerName every morning —
Girl-child of the harmattan winds, break, break, break, this morning’s mourning.

The Toast

On that note
Let us all give toast to 
That sibylline future
That hip eternal sapphire & gifted space
Where we roam our multiverse as unbothered time travelers. 
What comes next is nothing we must prepare
For — we already exist in the future we watch for. 
So, arise — raise your glasses a
Little higher! Whiteness is shrinking! 
Take heart, o, ye Cosmonauts, take heart!


"The Toast" is written as a "golden shovel" using the headline from the NY Times article by Kenneth Chang titled "Note to future space travelers: prepare for a shrinking heart."

.chisaraokwu. (she/her) is an Igbo American poet, actor and healthcare futurist. Her work has appeared in Obsidian, Tinderbox, SWWIM, Glass, and others. In 2020, she was awarded a Cave Canem Fellowship. She looks forward to returning to Italy after the pandemic.

I've lived all over the world (except in Asia / South Pacific) - I speak three languages adequately, wish I could have a Siberian Husky (except I'm not an animal person) and believe that Trader Joe's Mint Hot Chocolate is the best thing on earth. Aside from actual humans. Humans in real life. That you can hug. In real life. I think I miss humans more than Trader Joe's Mint Hot Chocolate.