black people
stood in line
for chicken sandwiches
and i was
unspeakably ashamed

then i thought
of sunday dinners
in church fellowship halls
where we ate bird
to put back
the things we gave to god
and it was holy

in haiti the neck is wrung
with fierce violence
after makeshift passover
where blackfoot bird
sponges out
bad and black
right before the knife

blood spills on the ground
like red oil
we rub it on our bodies
for protection
and keep the feet
to wear around our neck
against the evil

the dark river
is an emptying out
we eat bird
as offering
eschewing waste

on plantation soil
where soulfood
was life
and life
was a daily pursuit
of soul lost
in salt water
waste was want
and want
an economy unaffordable

we burned skin of bird
as fuel for summer sun
dirt beneath our feet
and future fabrics
in our hands
as we birthed a nation

it has been said
that niggers love chicken
and watermelon
so i have always
avoided bird
when white eyes
are watching

but sacrificial fowl
on  jesus plate
or in the company of others
or helicoptered over head
reaches deep
into the wellspring
of ancestral soul
and turns everything ritual
makes even standing in line
for something spicy
feel like a voodoo of the blood






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