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Double-Sonnet in Race

Prince Bush


To actively respect difference is activism with adverb
Vital. Stand, stare, hark and talk up:
Verb and direction vital—to peel
The white paint over bricks the color
Of our bones. The wrong language
Isn’t splitting hairs but splits into atrocities
That add up to states. Warring. The 49er’s,
Named after the Gold Rush and the background
Of the Gold Rush-1849: Fugitive Slave Act a tightrope,
And slaves free to walk solely to mines with nothing
Mine in mind or voted or testified for,
And the Nisenan Maidu from Honey Lake
To Sierra Nevada live sustainably-survives white
Drought and starvation, before and after all of us.

A seventy percent black sport with zero percent
Ownership, one black owner exists
Among popular North American sports, you
Learn, and think how soccer is football
And football American football elsewhere, everything
More than a bit interconnected, the law of inertia’s
Larger than us yet not stronger. Yes, kick it. What
We are throwing toward the sun’s heavy, made with pig
Bladder the shape of Earth, lemon, and deer, so it needs
Every hand. Even when resting, force of gravity kneels
On our necks, shoving us into the dark of ourselves,
Where the light we see isn’t white but an admission
Of every tone possible, the exact goal we can’t see, but remember
The earth curves just so; we can only see 3 miles away.


Prince Bush is a poet and current MFA student at Western Kentucky University. He has poetry in The Cincinnati Review, Diode Editions, Frontier Poetry, Hobart, Puerto del Sol, Pleiades, and etc. He was a 2019 Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets Fellow and a quarter-finalist for the 2018 Frontier OPEN (Frontier Poetry).


To learn more about submitting your work to Boudin or applying to McNeese State University’s Creative Writing MFA program, please visit Submissions for details.

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