By Mahogany L. Browne

 

The name of this poem is:

How to write a poem about ferguson

Or

The name of this poem is:

How a black man dies and no one makes a sound

Or

The name of this poem is:

Everywhere is Ferguson

Or

The name of this poem is:

When the moonrise sounds like gunshots

Or

The name of this poem is:

How to teach your babies to walk and not run, ever.

Or

How to teach your babies to carry a wallet the size of your smile

Or

The name of this poem is:

How not to smile & make yourself a target

Or

The name of this poem is:

How to write a poem the same size of Emmett Till’s lungs

after they pulled him from the Tallahatchie River

Or

How to write a poem about America’s thirst

Or

The name of this poem is:

Black blood’ll keep you thirsty

Or

The name of this poem is:

I’m still thirsty, An American Horror Story

Or

How to write an escape route from a tornado

Or

How to write an escape route when the tornado’s name

is Stop & Frisk

Or

How walk the streets without fearing someone will cut your neck open

Or

How to walk into a boardroom without fearing someone will cut your legacy open

Or

How to walk without asking for it

Or

How to walk without asking for it

How to determine what “asking for it” looks like

Or

How “asking for it” feel like a church bombing

Or

The name of this poem is:

How to not intimidate nobody in 3 small steps

Or

How to use your science books as Teflon

& how that still might not work

Or

The name of this poem is:

How to write about the one time you held a gun

Or

The name of this poem is:

How write about the one time you had a gun pointed to your face

Or

The name of this poem is:

How write about the one time you had a gun pointed to your face

Or

The name of this poem is:

How write about the one time you had a gun pointed to your face

Or

The name of this poem is:

How write about the one time you had a gun pointed to your face

Or

How to write a poem from the perspective of a cop’s gun

<                    >   a cop’s tazer

<                    >   a vigilante’s gun

<                    >   a cop’s boot

Or

The name of this poem is:

How to write poem without r e p e a t i n g yourself

 

 

 

Mahogany_Reading_Stunning

MAHOGANY L. BROWNE is a Cave Canem alumnae, Poets House fellow, playwright, poet, and literary emcee. She is the author of several books including her latest poetry collection “Dear Twitter” and has released five spoken word LPs. Browne facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country as well as Europe, Australia & Canada, focusing on women’s empowerment and youth mentoring.

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