Superbrown

aaa 2
@snapshotsteve


Superbrown, the superhero,
gained his strength from people’s fear.
he was super brown, Superbrown,
and he gained his strength from people’s fear.

but he was made weak for
every brown in prayer.
no prayer to a god,
but a prayer to the kids
that walk at night and never come home.
a prayer to get out of the hole.
a prayer to find the kind of love
you wake up warm with.

but fear is stronger,
and Superbrown gained his strength
from people’s fear.

a woman holds her baby closer,
a car door gets locked,
a hateful whisper is muttered,

fuel to the flame,
Superbrown felt it
flow through his veins,
through his arms,
tingling a restless tingle.
his fists clenched,
he punched all the bad guys
he punched all the bad guys
he punched all the bad guys
and destroyed them.

but Superbrown was made weak
with the scent of food, the spicy kind.
the kind that plays music in your ears
and brings families together,
and shares itself with different colors.
the kind that tastes of love,
the kind of love
you wake up safe with.

but fear is stronger,
and Superbrown gained his strength
from people’s fear.

the president speaks,
and hearts are turned,
and fingers are pointed,

Superbrown felt it all in his chest.
all that power flowing through his nose
and filling up his lungs,
moving up towards his mouth,
he vomited up a supersonic scream
that shattered windows
and mirrors
and demanded to be heard.
a scream so powerful
it turned back the hearts of the misguided
and those who resisted were destroyed.

but Superbrown is made weakest
by smiling brown faces.
smiling brown faces on the
tv screen,
at the bodega,
in our hearts and in our minds
when we hear a name, country,
food, sound, language,
that doesn’t sound quite like ours.
smiling brown faces made Superbrown the weakest,

but still, fear was stronger.
and Superbrown gained his strength
from people’s fear.

a child-sized chalk outline,
prisons getting filled and filled,
and children taken from their families,

that fear translated to power vibrating
through Superbrown’s heart,
thumping
thumping
thumping
’til he could take no more
and the pressure built up
caused him to explode,
and rain all over you and me,
and everybody,
and his blood permeated through
our pores and became us.

and as he flows through our veins,
Superbrown reminds us that there’s a time to
be strong, at the face of fear,
there’s times to be strong in your heart.
there’s times to scream, to demand
to be heard.
and there’s times to use your fists with purpose,
but there’s also a time to be weak, to be vulnerable,
to sing, and to dance,
and to paint, and to write,
to give, to love
to smile.

Superbrown was made powerful by people’s fear,
but more than anything,
Superbrown wanted the kind of love
you wake up weak with.

“Superbrown”
©Steven Cuenca

 

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