coal by audre lorde

“I 
is the total black, being spoken 
from the earth’s inside. 
There are many kinds of open 
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame 
how sound comes into a words, coloured 
by who pays what for speaking. 

Some words are open like a diamond 
on glass windows 
singing out within the crash of sun 
Then there are words like stapled wagers 
in a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
and come whatever will all chances 
the stub remains 
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge. 
Some words live in my throat 
breeding like adders. Other know sun 
seeking like gypsies over my tongue 
to explode through my lips 
like young sparrows bursting from shell. 
Some words 
bedevil me 

Love is word, another kind of open. 
As the diamond comes into a knot of flame 
I am Black because I come from the earth’s inside 
Now take my word for jewel in the open light.”

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