Ebony Noelle Golden

sutured lips

catalogue flesh in footsteps

eyes sink and rip


tones   shatter marathon nightmares    tip

 ephemera’s edge like the struggle of strep

throat    choke stillness between sutured lips 


 translate the wring of fingers through nips

of fornicating lexicon   daughters  forgive what murmuring hearts repress

taut and permeable like unwanted funk that stinks and rips


cut    we are smoothboned and goodhaired    flip

water off our heals  to mark our duress

we hold  wet away from our faces   dismiss through sutured lips


the rifts piling up at the base of our skulls   press

and press  and press heat into crisp

sprigs of winter  hold homedust  behind sutured lips

 re(collect) eyes that sink and rip


(love and revolution are the same thing)

for Assata

Dr. Renee Alexander Craft 


Part I.


Dear Assata,


I bottled an ounce of ocean,

a pinch of sand,

two fireflies,

and one dogwood blossom

In a canning jar with three holes in it

Placed it in the Atlantic off the coast of Wilmington

Not far from Freeman’s beach

Where your grandmother

taught you the word “fierce.”

Yemaya carried it to the place where water tugs sky

And entrusted it to the ancestors

They pass it

wave by wave toward Havana

They pass it

Making a ring shout

On the ocean floor

Shifting weight

Clapping hands



Black woman

Black revolutionary


We have not forgotten you



Part II


Dear Congressional Black Caucus—

Black people with access to power

Powerful black people

Power FROM the people

The ancestors are outraged

At the righteous indifference

The wanton forgetfulness

And malicious silence of the living

They have placed a name on the breeze

Joanne Cherimard

Assata Shakur

Joanne Cherimard

Assata Shakur

They have threatened to

Make it a tornado

Should the black nation

She fought to protect

Curse her name through

Heinous insults like “extradition”


They will not allow you reduce her to

a million dollar Gemini

A troupe on the wall

Of the hunter class

Gutted and stuffed

by Black


Is this the trick of integration?


Part III.


Dear Christy Todd-Whitman

Former New Jersey Governor Whitman

Negligent EPA Director Whitman

Would you have frisked Assata

and found nothing

Like you frisked Sherron Rolax,

an innocent black man-child

in Camden, NJ and found nothing

I admire your photo

You in all white

And him in all black

Made the image more surreal

Like the lynching postcards

Of white men smiling patriotically

Beside dangling black flesh

I searched the FBI’s most wanted list

And could not find you

These is no bounty on your head

For inviting New Yorkers

To inhale a steady diet of

asbestos, dioxins, and PCBs

too soon after 9/11

There is no bounty on your head


dear Christy

but be warned

The hunter class eat their own

When it pleases them


Part IV.


Dear William Bennet

Former Education Secretary Bennet

“Abort every black baby” Bennet

Revolution and love are the same thing


In response to your suggestion

The ancestors have taken up arms

And are recycling themselves

Black people globally

Rushed to bed early

The night of your broadcast

Lit white candles

Fed each other

oysters, figs, ginseng and chocolate,

Put fertility dolls under their mattresses,

Were serenaded from the heavens

By Luther and Donny,

And began passionately creating

The next rebellion


Part V.


Dear Assata,


Last night

I whispered a prayer

in the ears of your cimarron angels,

placed a plate of fried croaker

And candied yams on the surf

And ask ocean mother

For your protection


I join my voice to the chorus of the breeze

Joanne Cherimard

Assata Shakur

Joanne Cherimard

Assata Shakur


Should the cowboys come . . .

The oil barons

The war mongers

The dangerously ignorance

And the righteous evil


I send you solidarity,




An army of

Multi brown fists

Raised like this—


The people still need


Power to the power


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