by Ammayeh Benton
Born atop a mountain
the sacred place where Abraham went to slay his son
colored olive sandstorm eyed
hair of Jesus’ night sky
the spitting image of man made God obviously beautiful
wrapped in Zion’s lace
Shielded from the world in his invisible alabaster box
He prophesied with Mohammed
detached with Buddha
I Was in awe of him
Biblically addicting scented sandalwood This was just a veil
Like all veils it was lifted and he fell beneath
thrummed a suffocating darkness
He would rather feed dogs than nourish those around him
He took pleasure in the sight of an emaciated soul
He laughed at the stained glass hearts of others
He only respected the dog for it chains itself to that which feeds it
by Ismael Bonano
As I walk through the valley of The Shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.
Heroin addicts that don’t fear those needles.
Thieves and murderers that don’t fear or regard any legals.
Are we sane people?
What the system does is blame people.
Stripping one’s humanity—they say they can change people. Stripped of our names, we are all one and the same, my people. There is fear in knowing truth and a thin line between good and evil.
by Sha’id Muwakkil
I decided to go out to eat after work. So I get to the restaurant only to be told, “Sir, we’re sorry, but you can’t enter here for dinner. You must have on proper attire.”
I am wearing a shirt, tie, slacks and shoes. I am told that I need a jacket, and no offer is made to provide me with a jacket. As I take in the view of the place, I notice many of the patrons have been dressed as I. Some, because they had removed their jackets, others simply didn’t have one.
So I explained that I had a reservation and was having guests join me.
As this was taking place, a couple came in. The man, again, was dressed as I was and wasn’t allowed entry. The maître d’ was called to the front. He arrived with a dinner jacket in the man’s size. When I inquired as to if there was an available jacket I could use, I was told it wasn’t the establishment’s policy to provide jackets to its patrons.
I finally realized that “proper attire is a must,” meant that you must be white to eat there.
Separate lunch counters still exist.
by Ammayeh Benton
Time flows around me, I can’t catch up. I roam the earth for sustenance, I can never find. I bow my head and raise my hands surrendering to whatever gazes down. I smoke cigarettes to ease my ache but it only seems to intensify the pain. My life is wet with tragedy and leaves a trail of midnight wherever I roam. So I walked the streets, it was 3am, I wanted to find a thief. A criminal to pickpocket my soul. I walked the earth it seemed so desolate. I saw a homeless man huddling under a dumpster to hide himself from the rain. I saw two youths covered by a lipstick fog emitting echoes of pleasure. I looked toward the night sky and was greeted with blackness. No pretty twinkling stars No beautiful full-figured moon to seduce agony. I walked searching, looking at closed shops and street lights directing no vehicles.
Hours pass and I found myself in a wooded a area. A place I have never ventured to. The air was different, the sights and the sounds. I felt my numbness slowly dissolving into the air. I looked around and saw aging oak trees and arms of ferns reaching to give me an embrace. I listened to the sound of nocturnal beings whispering a lullaby the orchestration of chirps and croaks began. Gorgeousness in a life that has been so brutal to me. I found a moss covered rock and positioned myself on top of it.