Diallo Thornton

Black Is

Black is...

the color they see.
Darkness is what they think of me.
Find fear is the thought they believe.

Or is this just a saying?
Are they just playing?

I should be the one scared.
This world, they won't share.

They made this image of me,
but choose not to look closely.
It's like a lock without the key,
but the key, with its rough rigid edges
and smooth sides, is me.

I know who I am.
Don't care what no one thinks.
I have no fear.
Society fears me.

Black is...

being approached by a teacher
on an otherwise long, boring day.

What's wrong, she asks.
Nothing is my reply.

As I walk through the door, she falls.
Next thing I know, I'm Tom.

Face to the ground, and a thirty-five-year-old
grinds his knee in my back like I'm a fugitive.
A white woman claims she was knocked down by a nine-year-old.

My cheek pressed against the cold linoleum and puddle of tears
that river from my eyes.

Now, I'm kicked out of school. A third grader. A Tom Robinson replay with no room for a mess up.
Now, I'm all messed up.

They tried to school-to-prison-pipeline me. Back then, I was too young to see.

Black is...

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