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If punk rock is a church, it will be a Black Church.
And if punk rock is a Black Church,
it has already burnt down.
I can still taste its ashes in my throat.
Everywhere, sweat. Everywhere, blood.
And of course, what is more holy
than the crucifixion, 
or the moshpit
or a slaughterhouse?
It’s as if those flailing bodies just caught the Holy Ghost
but those bodies were white.
Those limbs never pulled out tambourines from their purses;
I imagine them reaching for guns
at the end of every chorus.
They never raised their hands up in surrender 
or in fear,
instead, those hands threw punches.
They caught the spirit
and then kicked it right in the ribs
again     and again       and again
and still demanded encores.
If punk rock is a church, don't forget how sacred it is.
The punk rock I know anointed its forehead
with our sweat
to keep it divine. We washed its combat boots with the salt from our eyes,
dried it with our nappy hair,
called it holy water
called it rock and roll.
You forget,
punk was created in my image first.
You forget,
punk is a state of mind like supremacy
is a state of mind. 
See, The music is a kind of sermon.
The kind that spits on the oppressed but curses the oppressor.
Punk is the steel boot on my face. Punk leaves its fingers in my hair
so it can get a stronger grip
with which to crack open my skull
and punk rock is my own blood in my throat.
I suppose, this is a kind of communion.
But tell me, if it ain’t punk of my mother
to have to raise two black children on her own in this world.
Tell me if it ain’t punk when I sit in the sun with all of this brown skin
exposed and without apology. 
Tell me if it ain’t punk to do all this breathing
and not know how much longer it will last.
You can’t make songs out of that.
Maybe punk is the crack in my voice; 
I have always been straining to be heard
over all this noise.
I have always wanted to be the one sent to the front of the stage.
I have always needed to be protected.
If punk rock is a Black Church,
it should be named sanctuary,
but if punk rock is a Black church,
like all black things,
I know it has an expiration date.
So I throw myself into the moshpit.
I want to feel
exactly what they really think of me.
How the moshing makes it all easier
because the puddles of blood look the same.
How it all sounds like Rock n’ Roll,
I go in,
close my eyes,
lick my lips,
it tastes like sweat.
Everything burning.


About kiki nicole

Kiki Nicole is a poet currently residing in Portland, OR. Their work has been featured on The Pulp Zine, Bitchtopia Magazine, and Voicemail Poems. Find more of their writing at View all posts by kiki nicole

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