My Love Is Black
You might say fear is a predictable emotion & I might agree. Whenever my husband leaves for his graveyard shift, when he prepares to walk out into the abyss of black sky, I am afraid tonight will be the night I become a widow. I don't want to love like this. But here we are: walking hand in hand in our parkas down the avenues & he pulls away from me. I might be in some dreamy place, thinking of the roast chicken we just had, the coconut peas & rice he just cooked, & how the food has filled our bellies with delight. How many times can I speak about black men & an officer enters the scene? I don't want to love like this. But there is a gun in the holster & a hand on the gun in the holster & my husband's hands are no longer in his pockets because it is night & we are just trying to breathe in some fresh evening air, trying to be unpredictable, to forget fear for a moment & live in love & love.
Copyright © 2018 by DéLana R. A. Dameron. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“I am thinking about the ways in which anti-black violence pervades the quotidian, the everyday. Grabbing a coffee. Checking your text messages. Asking for directions. For help. In Brooklyn, cops patrol the streets. For whose protection? Mine? For most of my life I have known, or understood, that to care for the well-being of another black body—even my own—is to be in a constant state of fearful dread of a violent death. Will it be today, tomorrow, walking to the grocery store, or just trying to make it home to a worrisome wife after working a twelve-hour graveyard shift?”
—DéLana R. A. Dameron
DéLana R. A. Dameron
DéLana R.A. Dameron's most recent collection of poetry is Weary Kingdom (University of South Carolina Press, 2017).
Date Published: 2018-05-25
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/my-love-black