Composed and Spoken Into Existence by Osa
James Baldwin Is My Negro
I think about him a lot lot lot. Today if Jimmy and I were together I’d kiss his lips tenderly,
rest my forehead against his,
breathe in harmony.
If our visions temporarily blur, salty water marks
on brown brown skin, �you know I love your brownskin�
may flow for different reasons
we’d be together.
�Said we’d cry, we’d cry together�
Mine in joy and gratitude. My hope-filled heart stubbornly resonates in those frequencies.
I Imagine we’d laugh with range! With raging heart-
achin grief, mirth, belly full, wicked and relieved.
Maybe he’d dance with me, “Jimmy, come on man, this is the revolution.”
I’d pour him his favorite drink �
This is for you, my little Brilliant Beautiful Black homie: �Let’s Dance. Let’s Shout. (Shout) Gr %mMShake our bodies down to the ground.�
I can say this because we be mirrors mirroring
one and an(other).
He’d tell me to sit my little Brilliant Beautiful Black ass down, roll a joint, and I’d say actually, I prefer to smoke out of glass bowls.
He’d have words for me then…you can imagine
we’d listen to Nina Simone sing us songs, all night long. �All night long”� because we be a(l)lways,
�Young, Gifted, and Black�
And just may be
he’d let me,
(he definitely would because I’m equally charming and sincere)
accept my invitation to hold him in my arms while he drifted into slumber.
His head on my chest, right arm wrapped around my waist.
Me: You alright?
Him: (a little grunt sound yes)
I’d whisper, sweet dreams Negro!
A sharp little pinch, one last small entangled laugh, before
rest in peace.
I’ve been thinking about James Baldwin lately. Ancestor, mentor, inspiration, great thinker, eloquent speaker of truth to power. What would he think of the times we’re in now. This pandemic. This world United with one of the main songs being, “Black Lives Matter”.
That non-black folks are in the streets, in their homes, and communities, educating one another, moving beyond ignorance, examining white supremacy with a scrutiny that is unprecedented.
I personally feel at age 42, relieved. Legit passing the baton.
The whole everything of everything has changed. I feel lives and lives saved. We all benefit.
I am in my Best Days of life right now. What folks are fighting for I’m living as victory now! I paint, write, think, walk, ride my bike, commune with friends who are family and family who are friends, sleep well. I’m In Love. I breathe easier, free in spirit, free in mind.
Freedom is the realized dream.
I wrote this poem after seeing a memory from 2 years ago pop up on my newsfeed about the documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro” and I was like, yeh my dude, you are.