Reparations Metric: Reverse Stump Speech for Courting the Black Vote

Marcus Wicker

Please believe, nobody’s out here looking

          for a promotional incentive

to be your bestie. Nobody’s asking

          you to slash our retail rates

to reasonable margins, & call it

          a blowout sale

though — that might very well

          cast my ballot. Nobody needs

your high yield guarantee on every

          deposit, your air mail rebate

for any immoderate purchases made

          though, given my therapeutic

spending patterns, these formulas could

          only help circulate the dollar.

Admittedly, I haven’t apportioned this

          a great deal of thought. Accidental

as lighting, these gestures of redress

          sailed to me! As two spiral

columns of wind.    As oxygen

          molecules oaring / rows of trees

into bibles / into money.    O Milk &

          Honey Candidate, calculating suitor

of the black & woke vote,

          you can’t just soundbite flesh

from the bones of a measure

          & expect to win our hearts

come election day. Come Corrector,

          lovelies. Don’t just tell me

you’d appoint a commissioner

          to form a taskforce to

examine the issue. Appeal to me

          in coded specificity

targeting bedrock — the lithified

          blue-black base —

until you actually believe

          a backlash / can be un-

wound. That only kin of bondage

          can fell a link between

the president’s twitter feed / & your

          four-year bout with anxiety.

I see you, with your figurative skin

          in the game. You wear that

bruise! Let it rise up, through

          your cadences. In your dailiness!

as the focus-grouped flag pin

          that pricks each morning

when you smooth yourself

          in the mirror. A uniform

dawning you don at televised

          campaign rallies. Amen!

& should you win, & win again —

          it better be

the wounded-brick color scheme

          you use to redecorate

the Office —

          a tone which, builds &

braces the house, without

          acknowledgment. Joists it

safely above mounting water.


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