Colour

Well, I too like to eat, sleep, drink and be in love.
I’m 24 and I like visits, vistas and visas
I like salted air by the coast, across the Atlantic or past the Pacific.
I like hugs as Christmas presents and send postcards as gifts.

I heard another black man got shot today, across the Atlantic.
another boat capsized on the Mediterranean,
its crew, from the Sahel, skin dark like what they see now.
other brothers were beaten black and blue in Bombay,
shades matter or you are cast away.
mauled by marauders around the mountains of Malawi
sit an albino and what’s left of her wishing she really was magic.

I am a black man who cannot be mistaken for anything other
than a black man. why would I choose anything else?
how could I?

I like white port, sweet as
sunshine nestled in a bees favourite petal.
and like a bee, I’ve come to like the colour green,
it’s somewhat everlasting isn’t it?

trampled and torched, still the green takes root,
slashed and shipped, still the green finds the sun,
battered and bruised, still the green bears fruit.

If justice were true and refugees became citizens
and certain citizens didn’t feel like refugees in need of an armistice
the green will still take your milky bones and soft teeth.

If instead fires raged over the spectrum of light across man’s skin
and kin became kindling to front-lines and ideologies
still, the green will take you in,
charred, marred, chipped or marked
the green will take us all in.