Best of the Net 2016  



it helps to observe from a distance:
the field, for instance,

as a statement

the south has chosen to make,
the way whiteness too
is often rhetorical, as when an older student remarks

that in those beginning days
only he observed mlk's holiday

and why was it that he did
while his black friends, working, did not


in physics dark matter isn't "made"
of anything. it's a free citizen

that passes
unburdened through the field, through itself,

                         through you—


sometimes love is a black dot
in a field

sometimes, suddenly
it is not.


or how can black be

the absence
of all color? take this cruiser. see the light strike blue off the car like copper
                         through a fountain


there is a difference between what is fair and what is just,
for instance,

it is fair
that i try
to love your skin even when it is not touching my own


whiteness is an alibi, the way the officer was like a steam-

          only I could see


inside where nothing shows I am of course not black
but that does not matter

to the field


some colors are indistinguishable
at night. put your hands behind your back

a different cop once asked me.
it was so sincere. he was so



as a boy you learn to know the inside
without being required to feel it

as when, even now, I understand a bucket
          or a hood


he asks my girlfriend not if she is white
since even in this light

what we are is obvious

but instead the sheriff offers some western
philosophy: ma'am        he asks
are you here of your own free will


look at the word black
on the paper
& you will see a certain black,        a kind,

a certainty,

or if you see nothing at all that of course
is a kind of black too


whiteness can be anything, even
hyperbole. try this:

sit in a field. try reading

andrew jackson's quotes on liberty.
now force them away from him.
attribute them to the children of his slaves


by the road
my father showed me cotton

look at that
he said

- Keith S. Wilson (from The Blueshift Journal)