Poem 227 ± January 17, 2016

Quraysh Ali Lansana
Bible Belted: Math

Pro-Black doesn’t mean anti-anything.
—El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

there are at least twenty-seven
white people i love. i counted.

four from high school
five from undergraduate

years, maybe three from grad
school (one gay=bonus points)

and an assortment of compelling
melanin-deprived miscreants

in chicago and countrywide
two brothas in the afterlife

remain why i add rather than

QurayshAliLansanaQuraysh Ali Lansana’s most recent books include the anthology The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, co-edited with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall (Haymarket Books, 2015) and the poetry collection The Walmart Republic (Mongrel Empire Press, 2014), co-written with Christopher Stewart. Forthcoming titles include A Simple Gift (Penny Candy Books, 2016) and Clara Luper: The Woman Who Rallies the Children, co-written with Julie Dill (Oklahoma Hall of Fame Press, 2017). Quraysh is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. He served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014.

This poem appears in The Walmart Republic.