Telepathy at the Music Festival in Minneapolis

“I learn the language of a closed mouth, how to look someone in the eye and know nothing and everything.”

00:02
I understand my powers whenever I am surrounded.
00:06
There is only one other black face in the audience,
00:09
and we all paid the same entry price.
00:11
The white man tripping on acid wants to lose his hand in my Afro–
00:15
I had hair back then–
00:17
The white man tripping on acid wants to lose his hand in my Afro.
00:21
Only one other person sees this.
00:23
The telepathy begins in our pupils,
00:25
a whole continent of conversation
00:27
with a slight turn of the neck and a focus of the eyes.
00:30
She says, “I hate when these people try to touch my hair.”
00:32
I reply, “I know, right?”
00:34
By which I mean we’ve always been outnumbered.
00:37
Why else would we communicate with the silence of a stare?
00:40
In a room that cannot hear me, I learn the language of a closed mouth,
00:44
how to look someone in the eye and know nothing and everything.
00:47
We laugh.
00:48
She says, “White people can’t dance.”
00:49
We laugh. The easy joke is silent.
00:52
I know, right?
00:53
By this, I mean I have always feared a death
00:55
at hands that cannot follow a heartbeat.
00:57
Surely this power must be in our genes,
00:59
this heritable tremor, this atrophy of a fist,
01:02
this audacity of breath.
01:03
We laugh. We are surrounded.
01:05
I don’t know if this place was meant for me.
01:08
I think I can survive in the shade.
01:11
(applause)

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