Prelude to a Bruise

In Birmingham, said the burly man –

Boy, be
a bootblack.

Your back, blue-black.
Your body,              burning.

     I like my black boys broke, or broken. 
     I like to break my black boys in.

See this burnished 
brown leather belt? 
You see it, boy?

     Are you broke, or broken?
     I’m gonna break your back in.

Good boy. Begin: bend 
over my boot,

     (or I’ll bend you over my lap – rap, rap) 

again, bend. Better,

butt out, tongue out, 
lean in.

     Now, spit shine. 
     Spit polish.

     My boot, black.
     Your back, blue-black.

Good boy.
Black boy, blue-black boy. 
Bad boy – rap rap.

You’ve been broken in. 
Begin again, bend.


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