Ain't That Easy

By Erica Lewis

when i look at my life
i feel like bursting into tears
marriage
and mental illness
vintage washed
michael jackson graphic
spiritual disco grieving ritual
sell your body
to your horse-eyed past
little fictions
somebody got to sing
and somebody
got to play the squaw
last time i saw him
last time i saw my honey
buried your dead
lack of afro
exit wounds
cut off whole limbs
of generational desire
the death of cleopatra
hell or high water
get some f*cking
love in your life girl
ghost chant
you’ve got to die
if you want to live
amidst and against
the things we are
rubbed into the cloth
wrapped around their faces
now white men
are black men too
the ways
we can’t say no
i call you queen
not as a term of endearment
but as a reminder
our histories meet
on the inside
we all be black moses
slave for the river
same river twice
sometimes
have to emphasize
the brown part
hey there beautiful brown girl
we don’t usually change
until things are so painful
that we must