THE LEAVES CHANGE COLOR DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON

By Darius Simpson

following Lumumba’s assassination

exploitation of the Congo went on

undeterred by democratic facade

neo-colonial puppets with european spines

to neutralize the Black Liberation Army

we were g(r)ifted with Black aesthetics

Black mayors and Black billionaires

they offer intersectional excuses 

for blood splatter murals downtown

pigs kept their mercenary commissions

under the guise of cultural progress

New Afrikan Independence is shrouded

in ahistorical attachment to race

the pot called the kettle African

the kettle joined the military

to prove its loyalty to the president

in other news a leaf is still a leaf

falls eventually as all empires do

if i continue the chores my ancestors set 

one day i’ll leap into piles of dried legislation

or teach that aspiration to my young before 

passing them the torch and gasoline 

the more regimes change the less

we remember there’s an enemy 

camouflaging in the branches


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Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performer, and skilled living room dancer from Akron, Ohio. His work has appeared in New Ohio Review, The Adroit Journal, Crab Creek Review, and others. Darius believes in the dissolution of empire and the total liberation of all Afrikans by any means available.