divine magnet





Shane McCrae


I Know It’s Hard for You to Believe You Still Benefit from Slavery

The boy in the picture is

Tied in the picture      to the post in the picture or

Look closer it’s a pickaxe look

Away from his      / Face to the base of the post look

that’s the head      / Of the pickaxe look

back to his face

He’s not a boy his

face the expression on his face the sadness it

Looks like the kind of sadness usually / A grown man won’t let anybody see

Usually if he has a choice / Now

look back to the pickaxe

back to the ropes

binding his wrists to the handle look his wrists

Aren’t bound to the handle look they’re bound

Together he’s      lying on his side

Facing the camera curled

up like he’s hugging his

Knees look      picture it      / He’s lying in the dirt

The pickaxe handle

someone slid

Or maybe had to push

hard through the hole it      picture it

Hard through the gap between      the backs of his

Knees      and his arms      below the elbows      / The man is lying on his side

now      you

Have all the pieces picture it      he’s facing you

not with his eyes but with his body the      / Convict if he      the black

man if he weren’t      lying in the dirt his body

wrapped around the pickaxe the

Pickaxe would fall


How You Are Owned

1. Slavery Is Forever

Growing up black white trash you grow up

knowing there are / Two kinds of white in the world one black

the      / White like the crayon / You grow up calling flesh

That colors everything the color of imaginary peaches

and the white like every other white thing / Lord      and the black like what your skin is like the

Black like what bad guys wear

The black like what you’re not and what you are

You grow up drawing characters you never color in

Except for when you color in their clothes

Eyes mouths and noses floating in      what should have been

Emptiness but      you grow up seeing

white skin

You grow up owned by whites      

not / Your body but your senses

2. Aspirational Harm

Growing up black white trash you grow up bodiless

Or what’s a body

Without its skin white skin an x-ray       all the way

Down to the white bones white inside

Black skin a void surrounding no inside

You grow up no inside

you grow up void surrounding

You grow up never sure       you see yourself       in mirrors

You grow up thinking what you see / Is only it might be

90%       / Accurate maybe less

So that       when you at 14 for the first

time break a bone / You        when the doctor shows you

The x-ray think it looks

more real than you are

In the middle of a black void Lord you see

a broken white bone glowing


What It Takes to Get the Attention of White Liberals

Growing up black white trash you grow up marched

Hands up the barrel of a pellet gun

Stuck in your back        / Lord

to the bottom of the hill around the corner from your house

By the white boy from the house

at the bottom of the hill around the corner from your house

In the middle of the day

You grow up desperate for that boy

to be your friend that boy        / He sees your desperation and he hates you for it you

embarrass him with his own beauty

Your desperation and your ugliness

what you and he have been        raised to see as your ugliness

embarrass him        / He marches you

Gun in your back from / Your house around the corner

to the gates of his gated

white paradise

to banish you        / To make you understand

the only way you’re getting in is dead