Thursday, May 28, 2020


Meanings of the Word “Urban”

Of course,
there was
that one time
at a national teachers’ convention
when people gasped
when Nell was introduced
and middle America learned
she taught at the Urban League School

And while
its been a minute
since someone asked me
with wide-eyed desperation
if I encounter black people
because of where I live

And I always fail
to find the language
to tell those who used to
how I feel
when I’m surrounded
by the bougie whites
in my city neighborhood

But I also remember
after Rodney King
an activist was on a talk show
talking about how
police academies recruit
with ads in
Soldier of Fortune

Promising policing
as the ultimate
in urban warfare,
American citizens become
enemy combatants

And I think
how that was almost
thirty years ago
and those Soldier of Fortune
recruits are now
sergeants, captains,
and commissioners

--Matthew Ussia

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