I came first but you did not write me in history
You made me mute, invisible, estranged
From my own heredity and great memory
With the slivering tongue arranged
Upon my brain. You brought me back, later
Across the wet desert of the Atlantic
From coffle to cotton, without choice in the matter
So I would believe I was a lunatic.
For only lunatics have no sense of place or name
Make roads they cannot walk, make garments
That cannot cover the stereotypes of shame.
I proved genius in better moral arguments
Did not let me take your life for all your cruelty.
Here is one more for your book, from islands
To continents I made them all the same
You left them blood and gold from your hands
Dripping, I followed you with a different name
Look again, who is the immigrant? Who do you fool?
Let me not deny your stealth, this separation
Of the vine from the root, by dividing you rule
But before you set us at variance, a suggestion
What is the DNA of all your wealth, the legacy
Of pirates and slaves? There is no beggar's hand
Here, just agents to recoup with undue courtesy
The treasures stolen from love and native land