No Room to Form
Ain’t no form out here
I’m your blade cleaving leaving
No throat uncut stayin’ stacked on air People sayin’
you can’t make me happy
police this corner Politicians police everybody
wants us dead—gentrify this hood like they
got us bodied but we movin’ our stars like chess pieces my love
don’t give them one kill-toned drop our love don’t split or spill f
or nobody what new approach to killing they got we can’t yeet from
promise we gonna be just fine I’ll never stop this work.
You streetlights on clear nights be my song Your heart
my beat-drop, joy dripping between your fingers palm-up
holding down tomorrow us wishin’ a motherf—look
blood moving heart to hands
freein’ space for opps wanting to pull up.
Copyright © 2023 by John S. Blake. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 28, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
“Some poems, not unlike many lives, will never fit into sharp, strict expectations. Sonnets, like suburbs—manicured and cosmetically tolerable—gaslight us into thinking, This! This is what life/love should look like! No. Love, in all its intersections, demands that we be more realistic about how hard so many must fight to exist. Everyone deserves love, but a multitude of the marginalized must do whatever is necessary to live in our divine rights.”
—John S. Blake