“Black Boy” for Michele
by: Kevin A. Browne
I was grateful; granny was prophetic,
almost making me out of clay,
caressing my tar with old love.
black before it was a color.
we come from an oily family,
our skins sticky to the touch.
we, who gushed from the oilfields:
she didn’t want me digging holes.
she didn’t want us digging holes.
she remains, now, a 45 minute recording—
my own ghost in the machine—that I listen to often,
but not often enough.
she named me.
I think it was so that every time I say my name,
I say it with her tongue: