Minneapolis Sleeps in Flames. Poetry Second Place Winner.


by Ozzyka Farah

Minneapolis Sleeps in Flames

I love the smell
of racism in the morning
injustice at high noon
propaganda on the six o’clock news
today is a good day
for a revolution.
The white house
has fallen:has failed us
the National Guard rolls out
while the President retreats
into his bunker
what courage, what leadership.
From all over the planet
we have our eyes fixed
we are watching
as pandemonium unfolds
the fuse lit on the powder keg
it was only a matter of time before
contents blew under oppression;
Minneapolis sleeps in flames
tonight.

It was never about
Black Vs. White
this is about right vs. wrong
morally conscious vs. morally inept
if we make it primarily about colour
we are going to lose
because they have the institutions
the state & federal gov’ts
the police force, the military.
But we have our voice
we have the people.
In a photograph, I see the flag
of our latinx brethren elegantly upheld
by gallant black arms
followed by a Black Lives Matter banner
clutched tightly by sycamore skin–
those same latinxs
& finally the fist raised high;
the symbolic manifestation
of our struggle
by an alabaster hand
an ally who could never relate
but understands.
I cannot believe my eyes
this camaraderie
we can hardly
harness our own
Power.

Taking to the streets marching
together like foot soldiers
to where
Peace Street & Unrest Boulevard
meet, not sure which way to turn
they stopped in the intersection &
with every fibre of their being
exasperated with herculean spirit & courage
those three words so the entire world could hear them

“Black
Lives
Matter!”

As if it was with their last breaths
& they wanted it etched in stone
three words, three claps of thousands of hands:
Unity.
The history books have been especially busy
as of late, it is uncertain if they will
run out of paper or ink first
still some choose to be on the wrong side of it,
lovely.
How ironic that they have made us
Closer than ever when all they wanted
was to divide us – this is what they hate to see.

The revolution is here
broadcast on social media
you have ignored their mother’s sobs
perhaps now you will hear
their children’s war cries
I have inherited my mother’s war
gifted to her by her mother’s generation
we have learned from them
we are not going to stop.
The media wants to vilify:
paint us as savages when we protest
like heads have been separated
from bodies & paraded in the streets
like the French Revolution.
If this is our very own
revolution, then allow me
to be Jean-Paul Marat
composing from the comfort & pain
of my Oceania bathtub.
These days all I can do is write
I write & I write & I write.
roll up a cigarette, I light & I light
alight
Minneapolis is alight
Washington D.C. is alight
Sacramento is alight.
It is time to let the world burn
if change cannot come
from the institutions
perhaps it can be built from
its ashes.


Ozzýka Farah is an Afrikan-Amerikkkan poet, editor, and freelance writer from Sacramento, California. Farah received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles) and his Master of Arts from The University of Westminster (London, UK).

His forthcoming chapbook, “I think I might be happy”, is expected to be released in 2021. His work has recently been published in Penumbra Literary and Art Journal and Big A Little a anthology. He currently lives between Melbourne, Australia and London, United Kingdom. You can follow him on Instagram: @ozzynapoleon.

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