Etymology of at the end of the day
let’s assume the words poured from the same mouth that introduced most revolutionary language. that this definitive decree came from someone Black & woman. let’s say this gift of a new turn of phrase came from someone only a few generations removed from it being considered new world speak. and for the purpose of imagery let’s say her skin was the envy of midnight. let’s say her hands were calloused from toiling over property. let’s name her property as she is most spoken about as an improper noun. and let’s envision her standing beneath a merciless sun, acres away from the vast space inhabited by her monsters. and let’s say her rye-complected girlchild keeps asking questions about the difference in their hair texture. let’s say the child is confused as to why her complexion is the duality of bondage & possibility and why her mama’s skin just resembles a starless nightfall. let’s say she calls her baby “baby”. let’s say she starts her explanation with the word “baby”, inserts “at the end of the day” & ends her sentence with wisdom one acquires after years of knowing themselves whole in spite of being treated as fraction. let’s assume this epiphany birthed a colloquial heirloom passed down to rationalize the not right. & that at the end of day we have been conditioned to reason for the sake of sanity even when nothing makes sense. especially when nothing makes sense.
Change of Plans
what does preparing to be
the victim of a massacre look like?/is the morning prayer interrupted by shortness of breath?/does the toothbrush scrape the gums raw making it the first blood of the day?/is breakfast indigestible?/are shoes tied counter clockwise?/is the morning commute directed towards red lights & stop signs?/is every greeting returned with grim silence?/is it the freeze of a lover’s lips as you kiss them on your way out the door?/is the day a series of canceled meetings?/silent voicemails?/an unprompted “I love you” from someone you have not seen in a lifetime?/is the day’s sunrise solar eclipsed by a band of crying clouds?/an expectation of no return?/how does one prepare to become a goodbye when leaving was not penciled in?
Donney Rose is a poet, teaching artist, and community activist from Baton Rouge. He is a 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow whose work as a performance poet/writer has been featured in a variety of publications, including Atlanta Black Star, Blavity, Button Poetry, All Def Digital, Slam Find,  Magazine, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, and Nicholls State University’s Gris-Gris literary journal and forthcoming in University of New Orleans’ Bayou Magazine literary journal.