A Prayer to Memnon in the midst of civil disorder
Speak to us, O Memnon, son of Tithonos, son of Eos.
Speak to us, prince of Ethiopia, son of the Dawn.
Speak with the voice of your colossus, raised in the land of Egypt.
Speak with the voice of a black-skinned man
who was not known as black, as colored, as a negro,
but as a prince, a warrior, a hero.
Speak, warrior who fought beside the Trojans in defence of their city,
who fell at the hand of Achilles after a mighty combat.
Speak, and tell us how to make peace.
Speak, and tell us how to make justice.
Speak, and tell us how to dismantle the lies of race and privilege.
Speak, and give us the wisdom of a true hero.
I pray to you tonight from the middle of Baltimore,
from the heart of a divided city, from a city in fear of violence,
from a place where just anger has turned to riots
that harm the harmless, that do nothing toward the good.
And yet the anger is justified. And yet people are in fear.
Memnon, I have not prayed to you before, but I pray to you now.
Hear the plea of one who is a lover of Antinous and send help to my city.