Black History Month: slaveship

slaveship

By Lucille Clifton

loaded like spoons
into the belly of Jesus
where we lay for weeks     for months
in the sweat and stink of our own
breathing
Jesus
why do you not protect us
chained to the heart of the Angel
where the prayers we never tell
are hot and red as our bloody ankles
Jesus
Angel
can these be men
who vomit us out from ships
called Jesus     Angel     Grace of God
onto a heathen country
Jesus
Angel
ever again
can this tongue speak
can this bone walk
Grace of God
can this sin live

 

 

Jesus, Angel, and Grace of God were the names of slaveships.

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