On Food

by Joshua Everett

If Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben birthed a baby, I wonder if President Obama would pour it on his waffles

I wonder if these Black-faced products are just an inside joke of the Nu Klux Klan that our stomachs are the punch line to


How many Black kids have bellies that swell like black eyes

Bruised by blows of empty cereal bowls

And a fistful of crumbs in the pantry


How many Black kids have bellies like airbags

Stored with food to keep from crashing into reality

Meant to protect but sometimes fatal


For us, food has always been a contradiction

Most likely to suffer from hunger, most likely to be obese

Most likely to window shop at restaurants, most likely to hoard every feast

Most likely to live like a slave and eat like a king

Least likely to live long enough to quench the appetite of our dreams


What does success taste like?

While we on the subject what you digest last night?

Can’t feed you knowledge if you hungry


We force feed alleged terrorists

Yet starve those who live where hunger strikes

Fresh fruit don’t grow in the desert

They say it’s easier to deep-fry mirages

Plus the journey from soul food to Whole Foods

Creates a trail of tears from affordable housing


So we stuck

Between gentrifying greens and

Kentucky fried pleasures


The South shall rise again

Only this time it’ll be our blood pressure

Only this time the soldiers won’t have weapons

They’ll just have receipts

Only this time, we won’t have to bleed

We just

Gotta eat

Joshua Everett is from Leeds, Alabama and recently graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He started both writing and performing to try and impress two different women at different points in his life. He’s been swept up in a love affair with poetry ever since. His writing ranges in topics from love to racism to awkwardly stumbling through young adulthood. Music has strong influences on his writing, especially hip-hop, jazz, and soul. The goal of his writing is to infuse these distinct, yet connected African-American art forms to make work that people can really feel. He currently works as a community organizer in Jacksonville, Florida with Interfaith Coalition for Action Reconciliation and Empowerment (I.C.A.R.E).

Joshua’s Facebook



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