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Lessons in fear

 

I.

 

Example: the white teacher who calls schools

in Detroit riotous because the kids

          behave, he says, like beehives.

 

Or when your auntie said don’t be scared

of the bees. They know when you’re afraid

but really they are more afraid of you. They

will kill themselves trying to defend their own.

 

II.

 

I am no more a beast when I bare my teeth

than when the lioness abandons any cub

                              she decides not worthy.

 

We are all beasts. Some of us choose

not to be afraid of remembering.
 
 
 

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit and is a poetry student in University of Michigan's MFA program. His writings have been given homes by The Journal, Word Riot, The Puritan, and CURA, among others. You can find him online at marlinmjenkins.tumblr.com and @Marlin_Poet.