This Is Me Talking About It by Janel Taylor

Dear Amy
don’t confuse my passion for anger
I won’t confuse your blindness for acceptance
I could never afford rose colored glasses
so the black bodies littering the streets look less like the first 10 minutes of the evening news on repeat
and more like the husband for which I been praying
God sent an apology for free will of warm fingers around brown necks or on cold triggers pointed at dark skin
when he separated the light from the dark
was he referring to us
Dear Amy
I don’t expect you to understand
You’ve never been black
I don’t expect you to understand the stigma behind African American
That makes you not want to be African or American
I don’t expect you to understand anything but unapologetically white
This is me talking about it

Dear dear dear Amy
When picking today’s lesson
skip Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26
entitled how to apologize for any wrong doing
we don’t hear justification often
we wouldn’t know what to do if we did
admission doesn’t make the blood on the sidewalk any less shrill
Our brothers are dying Amy
The shooters make camp behind the crooked branches of the law
no mitigation without motive
so black men remain martyred mainstream mortals
no amends
and all I can do is talk about it

the black in our home
pours out on to the street
We live in a world where dark equals danger
the further we go into it
The less likely we are to come out alive
even though God made dusk the same day he made dawn
This is me talking about it

Hey Amy
Did you know it’s levels to this shit?
There’s the peanut butter in a Reese cup
The inside of a Zero bar
The milk chocolate of a Hershey
I guess I should thank God that I’m more almond butter than Almond Joy
You outside getting black as night
Wasn’t a compliment at 11
It was a warning
That I’ll never be as beautiful in July as I am in February

Dear Amy
Have you noticed how many of us are in jail?
Do you think brown skin makes us felons?
Or just more likely to be convicted of a felony?
Kisses don’t feel the same through Plexiglas and phone wires
Not every black man can jump
But they can all touch the glass ceiling
blood stains our history
not just 28 days a year
God separated the light from the dark
and said they both were good
I want to talk about this


Janel (Williams) Taylor is a spoken word artist and poet from Columbus, Oh by way of Youngstown, OH. She has spent the past three years fine tuning the craft of poetry and competing on a national level. In the past year, she has released two chapbooks entitled: Contrary to Popular Belief and For the Opposite of Lovers: the Hate/Love Series. She is currently working on a third chapbook and her first album.