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for the death to life leaps of the Middle Passage
for the Freedom-flames of our fathers Gabriel and Nat
for the contraband: Harriet Tubman-brave
for the Blues-glue binding our battered souls
For Billy and the Strange Fruit hanging from the hate
for Nina and the children leaning, leaning for love
For the Red of our Passion and Revenge.
for the Brothers resurrected from the Nod.
I went to Riis Beach and Put my ear to the ocean
I went to Atlantic city and Put my ear to the ocean
I went to Chesapeake Bay and Put my ear to the ocean
I went to the South Sea Islands and put my ear to clapboard walls
I heard chains inside the ocean’s roar
I heard bones whitened by salty time ratlin for black-skin
I heard defiant moan-blues in Yoruba, Ibo, Akan, Bantu
I heard transformed memories and tears drop from ashy sea-swept faces
I looked into Jamestown waters and saw
Black-bones beckoning me in rhythm to a Jr.