#BlaPoWriMo: Thoughts while listening to X

Photo by Godisawoman with curly afro wearing black and yellow sweater and sunglasses

Tonya wears jeans three days of the week
when only Fridays are reserved for casual
dress, but who’s checking when half the
office works remote, the rest leaves before
five, and I stay behind to fill miscellaneous
requests and obsess over whether I wore
the same sweater twice in one week or why
my boots squeak when I walk to the bathroom
as the torn hem to the only business pants I
own drags across the carpet. In front of the
mirror, I stand against a gray backdrop of four
stalls and pick my afro that shrank three inches
in the dank cubicle below the air vent. I plug
in my earbuds to fill the silence with the Black
Panther soundtrack and hope the bald White
man in the corner office who frightens me like
a skinhead with a noose doesn’t hear Kendrick
encourage me loudly to
Fuck the place up.

© 2018-2023 Nortina Simmons

Originally published February 9, 2018.

Poem inspired by the improvisational characteristics of jazz music and the Black Panther (2018) soundtrack.

Welcome to Day 9 of Black Poetry Writing Month (aka BlaPoWriMo)! BlaPoWriMo is a month-long challenge to write a poem every day during the month of February (Black History Month) related to Black history, Black people, or the Black experience.

Today’s optional prompt is: Write a poem inspired by music.


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