the professional wealth extractors
divide within poor neighborhoods
after laying pipelines.
Some drip-plumbing spills, clangs
when black and white clash
in stealth or in the streets.
and self-loathing teams
police through the race line.
While maintaining the scapegoat pool,
employed custodians in shabby custom
praise through official owner-song
and accompanying violence:
“You will not replace us” alarms.
Not punching up but kicking down
wins for the day (or evening) every time.
Even as institutions collapse brick
and mortar around the national façade,
the penitentiary yard that replaced
the cotton fields weathers.