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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 71

A Confession

The day after he was
nailed in his vestibule
in a lightning crucifixion

I knelt before you
in silence
on National Poetry Day

behind a sign on which
I’d scrawled
“Four minutes for Amadou”.

You squirmed,
you glared,
and walked out.

Today I do not kneel,
or hug a placard
as a shield.

I do not stay silent—
not for four minutes,
not for a second.

Today I shout
in the name
of Amadou.

You, in turn, may
stand and glare.
You may choose

to walk away.
You may yell,
“Go back to India.

What’s this to you?
It’s none of your
fucking business.”

What if I’d confess,
“But I’m the son
of a slave holder”?

Would you then
crawl with me
under the skin

and join me in
the song of blood
and wail with me

to know we’re one
in the belly
of my scream?

  Ralph Nazareth