To Be Loved In Return: An Ode to Black Men

What does who you love have to do with you hating me?

Call me out my name for laughs, and air my insecurities

Exploit my loyalty

But treat my body, my life like property?

Negro, please.

You disrespect me and still expect me to catch you when you fall

But I won’t be the one you wake up to, when you get your negro wake up call

I’m not building from the bottom; you made yourself a house of cards

You call us bitter and make us brittle then act surprised when we’ve grown hard?

You can hate my skin, you can hate my hair; you can hate yourself as well.

But I’m still supposed to bail you out when you wind up in jail!

I’m still supposed to walk the line, for your justice, for your rights

For your life, for your seed… But your kids won’t even look like me!

So you carry your woes on your own damn back; you walk the line on your own damn heels

And when you feel your own damn burden, you imagine how I feel!

…. But still, depite all of the heartaches and times that I’ve been burned..

I still aspire to love you- and be loved in return.


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