Bare Minimum or: To-Do List for White America

Clean up after yourself. Pick up

that book chile, you still got

a good back. Seek therapy.

Don’t kill the creative in you.

Don’t kill Black people. Get a job —

one that doesn’t make you

the dictator. Take back 400 years

of overcontested leadership. Give

thanks to the futures you’ve stolen.

Give back what your people call

inheritance. Wash your hands; cut

the grass; don’t kill Asian women.

Don’t have what you call bad days.

Don’t think that — due to fear planted

in the roots of your kin — you can’t get rid

of yourself today. Get a job —

one that doesn’t require blood from me.

I’m low on iron & desire to tell you

once again. Quit playing. There’s a puddle

of blood you’ve shoved into a corner.

There’s a mop and my people

wringed into a bucket of waste. I’ll wait.


Copyright © KB Brookins. This poem originally appeared in Drunk Monkeys, May 16, 2022. Used with permission of the author.