Black Men


Black Men by: Cheikh

We are sensitive, us black men. 
We lay our hearts out on the line 
Have them cut up with knives. 
We’re supposed to be sharp as knives, 
The protectors of our lives 
And those that sometimes just can’t 
Protect themselves.
We are sensitive, us black men. 
Take our hands and fold them to pray. 
Our job is to simply survive everyday. 
It’s even worse for us if we are gay 
Because the image has been promoted 
Of black men bent over with knees cracked, 
Fingers jacked, 
And hands cupped to fit around the 
Cotton like we are cradling children. 
The images of our ancestors will never cease,
So we black men must stand proud 
And be everything our 
Child-bearing, 
Pinky-swearing, 
Cookin’ chicken, 
Good-fingerlickin’, 
Grease in the pan, 
Prayer-folded hands 
Mamas and daddies 
Were when slavery was our only occupation.
I remember when I first found out we could fly. 
Incantation spoken in languages alien to me. 
Ooo bobba kimbe, bobba wobba kimbee. 
Black man made of wisp and magic trysts with god 
Raise your hands in joyful noise 
And fly back to the homeland. 
Sing your song in unrelenting contralto.
Sing it like there’s no tomorrow. 
Song as if your spirit won’t go. 
Swing low, sweet chariot. 
Coming forth to carry me home.
We are sensitive, us black men. 
Bent forward, our spines imitate the curvature of Saturn’s rings 
And we slump with nebulas pooled into the smalls of our backs. 
We are no strangers to exploration. 
Just like promise meant home, 
Like run meant go, 
Like flight meant home, 
Like flight meant go, 
Like nigga meant minstrel show.
Like nigga means what’s up bro. 
We niggas have become a show 
For the bastards who crack back 
Fast with 
Choke throat laughter.
Pour it out of their asses. 
Tell me, when did sensitivity become a synonym for weakness? 
We use to be strong, defying the laws of gravity. 
We use to fly with swollen knees 
And calloused souls; 
Holes in our souls, 
Laughter in our souls. 
Magic in our souls. 
And now we stand for 
Music video black face, 
Niggas raped in public, 
Wokka flokka, soulja boy thug shit. 
Because bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks. 
And if you want bad bitches you gotta supply 
The good shit. 
So tell me nigga who you fuckin with?
We are sensitive, us black men. 
So don’t judge us when we lift our heads 
To the sky, 
Throw them back, tears in our eyes, 
And lift our arms like eagles in flight. 
Black man, godly tryst, 
With all your soul and shit, 
Flap like you’ve got phoenix running through your arteries. 
Burn like rebirth. 
Flap until your arms fall off and watch them
Fall to the earth, 
Catch them, 
Kiss them, 
Love them, 
Shatter these earthly stratospheres.
We are black, 
Made of flesh and emotion and bone. 
And sticks and stones will not break us, 
They will kill us. 
They will crack the wings we use when 
Nobody is watching. 
Our feathers made of skin and heavenly kiss will Icarus burn, 
Fall to the earth and damn us here. 
Keep us here. 
Enslave us… here. 
Keep our hands glued to sickles and flints.
The glint of the sun always burning our necks.
So let us stay here in flight; 
Flap wings that sing sonic booms to the sky. 
Let us fly.
We are sensitive, us black men. 
Take our hands and fold them to pray; 
Caress them, bless them. 
Press them into another so that they are one, 
Fashion us into missiles so that we can fly again. 
Be again. 
Ooh bobba kimbe, bobba wobba kimbe.
These knees will not trap us here, 
Our wings are not grounded here. 
We will not stay here, 
Flanked by men and shit and those who cannot speak incantation tongue.
We are sensitive, every single one of us. 
Jails will not bind us, 
Authority will not enshrine us. 
Sprout. 
Wings out your back and 
Feathers from your asses. 
Don’t let them tell you it’s impossible. 
Nothing is impossible… 
If you just say the words right.

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