A poem by Amy Lukau – The Feminist Wire

A poem by Amy Lukau

i always wanted to work on a cotton plantation.

you know,

somewhere in the deep south.

close to cajun town

but deeper toward the mouth


of the void:



North Carolina





i want to get toward the heart of darkness


the voodoo of Louisiana:


rock babies to sleep in a cradle:

like President Obama.

i want my bottle of 40

i want my food stamps

i want my guns,

i want my weed

my coke

my molly


i want [            ] …


i want all of that.


back to cotton.

as i said i always wanted to work

on a cotton plantation.

you know,

get real working experience

because i need something to do.          i need to be productive.

need that protestant work ethic


working hard.

working with cotton.

on a plantation.

i need my fingers to be calloused.

i need my sweat to soak my face my clothes.


i need to be beat.

i need to be called a [               ].


i need to be reminded of my place.

that subaltern—

towards the mouth of the void.

where blood flows.

from the legs of women

violated over

& over

& over



It’s officially nigger season…


Black bodies stringing in the summer breeze


the confederate flag, that’s my flag. you didn’t get the news homie. kanye said it. man, kanye’s so dope, that’s my nigga. for real yo. man, kanye’s doing things B.I. G. mad props man, mad props to that nigga, like for real yo.


you see Kanye is right.

somewhere between the mouth

& the void we existed. became present.


Black bodies stringing in the summer breeze


that’s the rallying cry of folk

(black &


in the south.

doesn’t matter what side you on

you good

cuz you gotta pick a side.

you’re forced to pick a side.


No rhetorical bullshit here.

No subaltern speaking here.

No academics here.

No justice here.

No peace here.


No life here.


just death here.


Black bodies stringing in the summer breeze


that is me.

that is my history. why can’t it be my flag?

Yeezus said it was.



wha’d up with that?


Gotta keep them separated I call that apartheid


fuck apartheid. it ain’t got dibs on that shit. i got a white cloak too. just because them fools ridin’ on horses n’shit setting fire to crosses in my front yard doesn’t mean they got dibs. that’s some bullshit for real yo. Kanye’s right we upgraded on them fools like for real yo. fuck horses we got cars with them big ass rims, like the one’s in Flo Rida’s video. & we got some fine ass women too. like damn!


And what the people say? We wanna live it up

And what the people want? Please deliver us

And what the people need?


see, we upgraded. we kill in cars, them fools went through all that trouble—dressing in cloaks n’shit. riding on horses in groups just to kill a nigga. man, that’s whack. like for real yo. we upgraded on them fools like for real. if i’m going kill a nigga, i’ll just drive by that fool’s hood and start shooting—fuck horses.


& see, this is our problem.



between picking cotton in the mouth of the void


deep south)

we learned

to resist

to subvert.


& yet

we do voodoo

with the angels of death.


I’m reaching through the fire.—please

deliver us

I’m preaching to the choir—please

deliver us

The truth is hard to swallow

it’ll leave you scared tomorrow


we kill. all of us.


Til death but do your part

Unholy matrimony


That flag is my flag too.


unnamed (1)Amy Lukau is the daughter of African immigrants from Angola. She
graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Molecular
Biosciences & Biotechnology and B.A. in Religious Studies with
certificates in Islamic Studies and Religion and Conflict.  Amy is the
Executive Director of Girls Education International, a not for profit
organization based in Colorado that supports educational opportunities
for underserved females in remote and underdeveloped regions of the
world,  Her work has appeared in Fanzine and is
forthcoming in other journals.  She is currently resides in Boulder,
Italics are in reference to Talib Kweli’s song, “Hostile Gospel, Pt.
1” (Deliver Us) and Kanye West’s song “Blood on the Leaves”