This poem is entitled, “Why I’m naming my daughter Wakanda.”
Or, “Is it possible to have a vibranium boner? Thank you Lupita N’Yongo!”
Or, “Dear T’Challa, you’re more of a hero than you know,
When is a story more than a story?
Answer: when the story itself is a super-suit.
Put it on and defy gravity in the holodeck of heart.
To those wonder why a mere movie trailer made black folks act crazy.
Consider our stories thus far.
Consider the war on drugs felon reading Marvel Comics in his cell.
Consider Angela Davis and Assata Shakur the real-life Dora Milaje.
Lady warriors who faced the beast with so much cat-like ferocity
They forgot about their reflex to flinch.
Did Huey P. Newton dream of the waterfalls and the Cat-God
Serving time, as the world chanted his slave-name to set him free?
The courage it took to fight the power without a bulletproof suit
Lets you know he’d be a hell of an Avenger.
All black student history saw the drawings of Wakanda, and wondered
“Is this what we would have been?
Had Africa been cursed with vibranium instead of diamonds?
Had plunder not reset the clock on our advancement?
Had Stan Lee been God and not the dude on the cross,
Could I apply for dual citizenship in Wakanda?”
If Zimmerman pulled down the hoodie, and revealed T’Challa,
A mighty round-house kick launching him through the rainy night,
Slashing the pistol into pieces with one slice of his claws,
Would the courts rule that “Panthers” could again be on neighborhood watch?
Maybe then, I could fight with stronger weapons than a hashtag.
Would Wakanda offer amnesty to refugees of the drug war,
And bail out nonviolent offenders from mass incarceration?
Would they send water engineers for Flint, Michigan’s pipes?
Or would they be stopped in customs by Trump’s travel ban?
Would The Panther issue trade sanctions on precious metals
Until they freed Mumia,
Or would he funnel supplies to protestors in Ferguson?
It’s kind of weird how bad we want this place to be real…but, not…
Not when I rehearse my speech to the cops in the mirror like a monologue.
Hoping if I’m as good as Chadwick Boseman, I can win a trip home like an Oscar.
So, until I live in the Marvel Universe…I’m naming my daughter, “Wakanda.”
And she’s gonna be a badass
A kung fu master, computer-hacking toddler
With a sidekick she will know as, “daddy.”
And, she’ll be as pretty as Angela Bassett and nice with the nunchucks.
As I wait for life to imitate art.