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How to Make Hostile People

by El David

How to make

hostile people

Trample their motherlands

with white feet

that crack the spines

of downtrodden backs

Burn the deeds to their lives,

package them

in shackles and chains,

then wrap your guilt

in fragrant flowers and lace

Rip centuries of culture

from their hearts

and water board them

with Roman Holy Water

until they kneel

before ceramic Gods that...

down to the eyes...

look nothing like them

Condition them

to wait in silence

for the resurrection

of savior

who will come with invitations

to a grand ball

that they will not be invited to

Cram them into the bellies

of floating beasts,

stockpiled in pools

of defecation and blood

Line the Atlantic

with Black lives

discarded for convenience

Plant your flags on their

ancient dirt

Salt the earth

that their golden hands

forever cultivated

Declare yours, the land

their toes were dug into

for centuries,

and christen that

long-standing terrain

The New World

Make invisible...

Make exploitable...

Make disposable...

human lives

whose skin is any shade

darker than pink

Have a nation built

on their lacerated backs

and claim that nation yours

Force them to die in your wars

but deny them a voice...

a vote...

a right...

Dehumanize them

Slander their existence

Declare them cursed

Decree your image beautiful

and theirs grotesque

Whitewash their self love

Deprive them of justice

at every turn

Watch their assassinations

by beasts behind badges,

and grant no redemption

Bury them in disadvantages

and blame them

for the inability to rise

Take these instructions

and teach them

to their children

Paint greatness white

and make ivory flesh

the key to success

and when they rise

with weapon in hand

Call them evil...

Call them rioters ...

Call them terrorists...

Call them hostile

as if hostility is not

the God given right

of a persecuted


About the Author

El Davíd is a NuYorican poet, writer from the Bronx, NY and author of the new poetry collection “Growing Up Rican.” He is the NY Taino Awards 2016 "Areito Poet of the Year".

He is also the author of poetry collections, “Growing Up Rican,” “Hip Hop Made,” “The Outlaw of Poetry," and a collaboration with author Manuel A. Meléndez titled, “Outbursts of Horror."

His works have been published in the anthologies, "Me No Hablo With Acento" edited by Emanuel Xavier, "The Bandana Republic" edited by Luis Reyes Rivera and the August 2019 “Acentos Review: Performance of Breath” edited by Lupe Mendez & Peggy Robles-Alvarado.

El is the founder of Urban Beat Poet Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create platforms for writers and artists through workshops, performances, music productions and publications.

As a curator, El David hosted the “Smokin’ Word Open Mic Series,” the most celebrated Open Mic series in the Bronx, NY. He has had featured readings at the National Black Theatre, Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Bronx Museum for the Arts, Great Weather for Media, Hostos College, La Tea, Capicu Cultural Showcase, El Museo Del Barrio, and Stevens Institute of Technology.

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1 Comment

Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem
May 14, 2021

Strong, forthright work. I was afraid it was going to be snarky and sarcastic. I'm glad your poem is about the things that matter.

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