Dear Angela Davis,
No one stays in 1970 forever but I hope you haven't cut your hair.
At every Panther rally your silhouette was easy to pick out.
Kick ass hair. Black is beautiful hair. I dare you hair.
I wanted to dare to be you the tall woman center stage
before the microphone under a shrubbery of electric halo.
When you spoke I swear lightning flew off you.
I wanted to be a panther not the rabbit I was on the Chinese placemat
with spider webs for hair. I wanted to crown myself with a dense Afro
like yours, Angela.
Your fro was such a coronet of disrepute in my family's eyes—
I had to get me one.
With hair like that, no one would ever mistake me for tame
but my hair would not cooperate
it would not grab pens or combs and barely rubber bands.
Even flowers slid to my shoulders.
I wanted your dynamic hair, Angela, that scared old white people
with its bigness its arc of perfection.
It showed them what could happen to hair when it's left
You were the Statue of Liberty to me, Angela Davis,
what my country
could stand for. Like her, you're still holding a book,
but you've got a mighty fro
and instead of a torch your fist burns in the air.