Tuesday, April 17

Back to Africa poem

Here's another piece I'm going to do in the Poetry Slam on Thursday:

I will go back.
I will go back to Africa.
I will swim across the ocean.
I will walk across the desert.
I will be baptized in a river of tears.
I will dance with my ancestors
and I will kiss this ground.
I will go back to Africa
Return down to Egypt.
I know God will call his people
To return to Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya.
Go deeper, yes, I will go deeper.
I will go back to Africa.
I will get darker and darker and darker
until you start to recognize
I become Pan-African
stretching from Baghdad to Benin,
from Senegal to Somalia,
Morocco to Mozambique.
I will reclaim paradise,
that garden of Eden,
nestled between the Congo and the Nile.
I will go back to purity,
commune with the spirituality
of rocks and trees and animals.
I will follow Mansa Musa on his hajj to Mecca.
I will ride elephants through the Alps with Hannibal.
I will walk with Joseph, Mary and Jesus back to Nazareth.
I will go back to Africa
and when I open my mouth
a lion will stick its head in
but I won't bite.
I'll just keep breathing
in and out, in and out,
again and again and again,
over and over and over
like the spirit of the drums
beating repeatedly deep in the heart BOOM
of this African land BOOM
like a stick turning into a snake BOOM
snake, stick, snake, stick BOOM
I will go back to Africa
back to the drums of passion,
back to the tongues of power,
back to the incantations of energy,
filling me with a desire
to fill you up with African strength and rhythms
until you scream out
I would go back to Africa,
if I could,
but I can't.
Because I never left.
I never forgot my God and my people.
No matter where they took me,
how often they whipped me,
whatever lies they told me.
My spirit never left.
I would go back to Africa,
except I never left.

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