Our People II

All cousins know the electric slide/ how
to spell/despite the stink of it/chitterlings
or chitlins/the odor of pig feet or catfish
under a steam of vinegar/ believe
blood is the most important thing/bring
family up for better or worse/better
the family or bemoan who just
won’t do right/ learn early the
power fist/dap/pound/and running
man/invent glorious ways to say
“brother” with intricacies of hands/we
cool/give elders their due/cull histories
in quilts/set records/set beats/set
rights/set Black Jesus/love our tannin
skin/drown yowls in jazz/ watch blocks
bristle heat/in the hundreds/it’s past
sundown/Mecca’s everywhere now.

More Poems by CM Burroughs