The Welfare Queen Pyrate Code

The Welfare Queen Pyrate Code

1. Every Black woman has a vote in affairs of Black bounty; has equal title to the freshest provisions,
strongest Patrón and Crown Royal Apple. If liquors be made scarce by port authorities,
or the government limits itself in the crew’s direction, seize they shit.
Shiver our chicken tenders, king crab legs, and on-brand cereal out their pockets.

2. Every Black woman will be SNAP-enrolled fairly when it’s their turn to be treasure’s succubus. On
these occasions, be a bougie bitch: ebony Frances Grey brim, 24-karat nameplate, Versace Couture
Deluxe Tuberose perfume, Puff Daddy coat. If congressmen defraud the company
of dollas, jewels, or gold caps for our babes’ teeth—if they declare poverty must come with a
uniform—maroon their pasty asses. Remember their original robbery
and set them betwixt a debt-rippled shore and ass-whoopin’. 

3. At nautical twilight, lights, candles, and bouquets will try to be put out by police curfew;
stay vigil-weary for our drowned girls and boys.

4. Keep voice, pistol, and cutlass clean for service.

5. To avoid scurvy, sip from moonrock, spit out star-steamed tobacco plucked
from a decaying orchard of deferred dreams and dead bodies.
We’re still splintered by the slaver’s shipboards.

6. To desert our just deserts—
to blockade our baby boatswains from a well-deserved dessert will be discouraged.

7. No pryate will quarrel with their own stamped skin. No special favours from the Quartermaster.
            We all heading starboard.
That means you well-to-do colony hoes can shut the fuck up if you don’t partake in the code.
That means brown pyrates, beige pyrates, Indigenous pyrates, rural pyrates, trans pyrates, pyrates 
with disabilities, gay pyrates, and immigrant pyrates won’t taste the smoketail
of a Black flag’s cannonball.

8. Hymn weavers have rest on Sabbath Day.
Make suffering a remnant of the sea salt breeze.
It’s much work believing our lives weigh more in gold
when devoted to others’.

9. To keep our bodies nerve-chill. They want to see us rowdy.
They want to see doubloon goons begging for Captain Crunch and Milky Ways.
They want to steal our right to own our rites. They want us to wrap bootstraps around our peg legs. 
They want a “big booty, hooped-earring bitch” to stand silent as their spit drips down her forehead.
            So cut out their spitting tongue and make it a necklace. 
            We walked their plank plenty. Plunder away. Plunder till we get paid.

Martheaus Perkins

Martheaus Perkins is an MFA candidate at George Mason University in Virginia. He is an emerging Black writer; his heroes include Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, and Langston Hughes. His work has appeared in On the Run, Sepia Quarterly, Black Fox, and Longleaf Review. Currently, he is dealing with an obsession with hot foods and excessively long YouTube videos. He can be found on Instagram @mark__perkins.

Next (Please wear your life jackets) >

< Back (Optometry with Momma)