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Stars of Ethiopia.

“Not to be offensive, but you heard of slavery, right?”

He typed in response to my profession of faith

I can only imagine his posture

If he’d asked this question in person

And not behind characters and comment box

I picture his eyes

Carrying condescending glare

As lips shape into a smug grin

Garnered by those who know their history well

And consider themselves inerrant in ideology

I wanted to ask him

If he’s ever experienced stars of Ethiopia?

Our western skies be too diluted by street lights and smog

To see beauty Universe be unveiling before us

My ancestors call that Universe, Yahweh

A name not spoken, but breathed

An entity that made chains broken, and freed

Israelites from an oppressive Pharoah

Giving them hope that kept eyes on Sparrows

When hearts fell ill to disease of discouragement

When poverty and classism clawed at identity

When Pharisees treated nonreligous as enemies

When transatlantic traders treated them with enmity

They knew their name was of Divinity

Bound by Spirit in Holy affinity

But you say this is stupidity

To put such trust in talk of text

I mean, we must’ve heard of slavery, right?

But have you seen them stars of Ethiopia?

Our Western skies be Slave bibles

Stripped of stars and planets

Eclipsing sun every once in awhile

To make sure ancestors ain’t absorb any ray of hope

From tearing out every liberating page

To painting patriarchs who were brown, beige

White man’s hands have always mastered art of appropriation

If you’ve always had the privilege of being seen as creator

And never canvas

How can you expect to understand

How it feels to be under heavy strokes

Of a plagiarized picture that illustrates a false narrative

Without even citing original source?

Critical of culture caused by Crusades and Constantine

Yet cannot fathom a brown skin Augustine

The irony,

You speak so passionately bout a black man’s struggle

Yet fasten muzzle over every tongue

Confessing Christ as Lord

And mock every block bearing a black church

That be home of every black woman and man who struggled

Doesn’t your logic make you puzzled?

That heroes you hold so much regard for

Be same one’s you’d have disregard for?

Phyllis Wheatly’s poems were proof

Martin Luther King bolstered bravery

Built between Gandhi and Bible

That costed black body a bullet on balcony from rifle

Many melanated martyrs met identity at altar

And to this you say their intelligence has faltered

Why hold so much nerve

To enter into a space you don’t belong

Yet are graciously welcomed too?

Then shoot down all praying hands

You sound like Dylann Roof

Your privilege gives you a permanent home

Why snatch Sojourner’s Truth?

Ignoring fact that fascination with God

Has made black poets, prophets

And rappers, rabbis

Lauryn Hill’s heart was in Zion

While Kanye witnessed Jesus walk

Tupac told G’s that heaven was at hand

So good kids in mad cities could rest

Knowing what happens on Earth, stays on Earth

Racism, violence, friends carried off in Hearse

God is written within our DNA

And to that you let laughter burst

All because you’ve only heard of slavery?

Yet will never fully feel stars of Ethiopia

Have you ever tried to look past Western skies?

Strain pupils to pierce past cloud of lies it’s been diluted by?

It ain’t impossible,

But convicting to realize you’re an analogy

To white washed religion

You so tirelessly critique

And you don’t even notice

How you stand in opposition and unspoken alliance

With American pastors

You be a rock placed parallel to a hard place named “piety”

Both standing so certain and inerrant in own word

While everyone else be stuck between in herd

You demonize,

They anglicize,

You call faith a fairy tale told to deal with trauma

They teach it’s all literal and design dogma

To keep members compliant, and call it honor

Ready to damn them

If they call God anything other than father

Both sides create martyrs

But neither has lens to see any farther

Bound by boundaries built by brain

Perplexed by anyone outside them chains

That don’t sound like slavery to you?

As if you’ve possibly confined yourself to this countries conditioned certainty for so long

That you haven’t even stepped out to see stars of Ethiopia?


Posted 06/19/19
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