Rusted valves and pipes, sleeping gas lines,
tables with saw blades rising to railway,
vintage dust taking in streams of light.
Craftsmen, honest days’ work,
kids unloading seed from train cars.
Out on brick sidewalks I can hear the echo
from the center of the earth, the black fist rising
despite the genocide of Black Wall Street:
girl in the elevator, the trumped-up assault,
rage fanned by the press; finally an excuse
to burn, murder, rape, and then deny,
and to strip a whole remaining people
of past or future, and then lie about it.
Bill Turley is a Tulsa-based poet who first began publishing in small magazines and journals in the late 1970s. He published a poem called “Landscape” in This Land in February 2011.