Being black in today’s churches where most of which are contemporary

Feels like standing on the shore of vision casted beaches

Where the sun shines so bright and crystal clear water breaches dreamt up castles of sand

Like having your towel and your umbrella and having to explain your inability to explain spf differences

Sand between your toes as your sweat drips creating an eclipse of epidermal prose

As the excitement builds but it all gets killed in finding out you missed the ferry

Being black and gifted in churches where as the minority you fade

When the lights go dim and worship begins

But you’re in luck because from the stage we’re all the same color with our hands up

Yet when the music stops and the speeches begin

The anguish from interpreting a seemingly foreign language begins

The crawl in your skin as stories are told of men where inwardly we might identify but the outward stoutness tells me I’m nothing like them

But if this is true and you like me too then who can I relate to understand why I do what I do

What chapter and what verse can I find to memorize and to explain the vernacular to which I’m accustomed

Because if my dialect is generational and my succinct understanding of this is gestational

Then can I only find answers specifically through my own writing and speech

And because I read aloud and bleed from my heart out my mouth

Does that make it easier to digest me

From what I hear to what I speak

There is a valley culturally wide and ancestrally deep

But when the lights come on and it’s time to exit

I smile and nod feeling that my truth will be infectious

So I stuff it down and smile and hug

Until all the thoughts I fought again swept under the rug

Being young black and gifted in churches where everyone you know and then you see

Someone who looks like or sounds like or can truly relate to me

I know David wrote psalms where to the pages he set fire to history

Just him, how lyre as the blood dripped from the strings

I’d imagined his fingers made the perfect picks from the years of lives he’d taken

As he killed in God’s name and whole generations were slain but what comes to mind when I think of heavenly engineered pain

Is what music would I write and play if I did the same

Solomon wrote a song to his love that ran on as long as his wealth but other than that

The only comparison is a contrast because I hear

As a poet my inclination is always to feed the starvation grumbling from the souls of anyone within my gift

But I’m young so often it’s pawned off as inexperience

Where my imagination comes cascading through a tone that’s too serious

Because I’m black that seriousness gets perceived as aggression

To get in where I fit in the doorway is cultural suppression

And if your only suggestion is that I find a “black church”

Then you are the spicket selling front row tickets to watch weeds bloom saturating a garden of hurt

I simply need to know where I fit in an contemporary church

Being myself and not placed on a shelf where the dust settles and meddles with my worth