The Wisdom of Black Thought
by Chris Collins

“What the fuck are you lookin’ at?”
His accent curls from the tongue
A noose hanging on every note
As he drags us from Kings Cross, England to Jasper, Texas
I say
“What the fuck”
I say
“Excuse me”
I want to say
“Come back over so I can twist the cockney neck
And savor the British sound it makes when it snaps in my hands.”

Ten hours in the UK
The welcome feels less than warm. 
He walks on down the road
As Rachel grabs my arm. 

I’ve never been in a fight
Nor am I a violent man
But if fists came to cuffs
I have a boxer in my bloodline

We are eight
As Black Thought with his cane,
and Kofi
Tower over us.
He laughs at the man and continues his conversation.
Heart beating,
I try to remain calm.
I take note of his wisdom
As the act disappears in the air like smoke.
I follow his cue
Reside in the present
And let ignorance pass.

At dinner
In a Nigerian restaurant Emukay
Black Thought breaks down the history
Of systematic oppression of African peoples
An Afrocentric lecture
Turning the table to the classroom
Performed Over Palm wine and Dodo.
A new dawn breaking over Western dreams
The world seems

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