I love you. Comparing a person who only seeks the presence of God once a year to me who have only told you that “I love you” once of your earthly life, I understand your will to forget every black man that resembles me.
I understand your will to turn away from personified mirrors: the black young male English teacher who draws closer though you push away; the black young male counselor who embraces your silence though he is enthralled by his anticipation of your voice; the black young male cashier who still says yes sir though he is older; the black young male preacher who agrees that you should feel anger; the black young father whose daughter you are courting; all versions of me; all versions of you.
To stand before you, like you, I have to encounter all the things that remind me of you: the black young English teacher who is being a better father than myself; the black young male counselor who has learned more of your secrets than myself and even the power and beauty of your silence; the black young cashier who respects you because he knows that you are royalty more than me, your father; the black young male preacher who gets to accept that he cannot solve all of your problems but he could stand in solidarity with you before heaven; the black young father whose daughter you are courting that gets to be the grandpa that the grandchildren would rescue from a nursing so that he may die with loved ones.
Son, let me die for you to all attempts of self-sabotaging. Your future is still cocooning; therefore, butterfly of my loins: do not turn away the black encyclopedia that reads and shares its commodities; complete your healing; let those that would like to be ointment their work so you could be lulled to sleep; accept that you are the foot that lands which demands creatures to respond; wise men bowed down to Jesus, wise men will bestow honor onto you; be angry at a father and his absence but don’t sin against your help. Remember the teacher. Remember the counselor. Remember the preacher. And son, forgive me or you lose your African Queen and forfeit your future dynasty; disrespect one father you will disrespect two fathers-the father whose daughter you court and the father you are capable of being in emotional health.
In time, do all of these things–in time.