Where am I From?

By Semaj Brown Flint, Michigan’s First Poet Laureate

Where am I from?

I am from the blood of fire river
where the strike of friction against rock of flint
smokes tongues of resistance
lead burning brains and bodies of the resilient beautiful
I am Flint, mid-west bio region reconfiguring the world
Meet me where the watershed into  bay of being
fed by underground railroad tributaries escaping  River Killers

I travel the coast, witness 400 decomposing beached whales
A homeless polar bear traumatized by the color blue staggers by
Am I drizzling in my Grandmother’s nightmare?

Where am I from?

I am from the conflagration
incinerating the revolving rotisserie globe
They have savaged our bodies and our land
I burn for you our Breonna, oh our Breonna
radiating volcanic social convulsions
of African blazes

I am from a regurgitating country
trying to grow a conscience      in a petri dish
Wheezing in the chemical crucible of casual killings
as the tide of plastic rushes the shore flooding our veins

Where am I from?
Hear the eulogy of rainforest choirs
homilies rupturing in the throat of declining Orchids

Where Am I From?

I am from this Earth is my body,
my lungs, a species, a sacrament dissimilar
to any ever tasted the milk of,
newer forever more than eternity the breath of

We magma our authority, lava our power
where we, the Humble Crawlers of Light shout the Earth forward

We claim victory ingesting quest for justice,
as daily bread, as we magma our authority,
lava the reckoning—
radiating inherited spiritual convulsions
blazing, scorching, scalding, shouting the Earth forward
with infrared eyes, an adaptation  of the womb,
wash in ash, emerge singed, fists like floating planets,
tied to a standing arm of vertical hope—
not knowing if dawn will break us, but declaring:

“We got this! We gonna be alright, we gonna be alright”

from the mountain where crows make revolution,
from our mouths of cinder and soot,
eviscerating, dismantling, dissolving— diabolical covenants

Where I am from
biodiversity marches the Earth forward
stampedes the Earth forward,
tramples land mines, shouting monuments down, voting her forward,
quaking, making, staking freedom
imagining, imagining our futures forward— freedom Forward!