May 25, 2016

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May 25, 2016
 

litany

 
Mahogany L. Browne
illustration

About This Poem

 

“‘litany’ was written after the anniversary of ‘I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free,’ made famous by Nina Simone. And I sat with what that meant, years later—when I am still wishing for a certain type of freedom. To think of the time passing but of senseless deaths of black and brown bodies remaining. The poem was a mulling of all that has changed and all that has not. Injustice has not changed. Poverty has not changed. The idea that I am writing from poem to check to mouth/house is no coincidence. And the building on my corner was most certainly burned to the ground, leaving folks homeless. Within two weeks there was talk of building condos. And my neighbors and I, free to watch, stood on the opposite corner of the destroyed building as contractors stomped in and out of the remains. Someone smiled loudly about the ‘new multimillion-dollar building plans.’ And it didn’t feel like freedom at all.”
—Mahogany L. Browne

 

Mahogany L. Browne is the author of Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015). She is a teaching artist at Urban Word NYC and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Photo credit: Kia Dyson 

more-at-poets

Poetry by Browne

 

Redbone

(Aquarius Press, 2015)

"The neighbor’s buddy watching my screen through the window" by francine j. harris

read-more

"Pomegranate Means Grenade" by Jamaal May

read-more

"Mother Night" by James Weldon Johnson

read-more

Poem-a-Day

 

Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-a-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends.

 
 


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