it practically leaves me speechless: this retrograde that renders you blind American the beautiful—this happens under your name time after time
that’s what I am talking about that’s what I am talking about
tell me when I can stop on one hand counting black faces in movies set in the glistening metropolis—tell me why it’s normal
thatis what I’m talking about that is what I am talking about
listen up: I am not them or other a mob or color the only pronouns that fit are: I and me personally
that is what I’m talking about when I want you to hear
look at your reflection in the mirror—own your mistakes do you have the constitution for it?
that is what you hear when I’m talking
say it is not all right (alright) not right to push the laws back when half of the real story has yet to be told
talking about that talking shade
can you hear me America?—the same old same old all this chaos and no disorder not for sale
can you hear me talking at you?
how many died to get us here: boys dead girls disappeared sheets wearing suits—the rest weeping when the horsemen come
I’m talking about who’s not talking, America
Colleen J. McElroy lives in Seattle, Washington. Winner of the Before Columbus American Book Award for Queen of the Ebony Isles, McElroy’s poetry books include Here I Throw Down My Heart (finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award, the Walt Whitman Award, the Phyllis Wheatley Award, and the Washington State Governor’s Book Award) and Blood Memory (finalist for the 2017 Paterson Poetry Prize).