Black Boy Whistle

When black boy whistle everyone come running to see what.
Everyone have something to say about
what to do about ________
and who should be doing it, too. When he whistle they wanna assume.
Whistle must be something to do with them. Whistle must be warning
he about to take. Everybody knows black boy always wanting _______.

Black boy whistle is never just “need a cab”, who ignores
black boy though he try catch it anyway. Black boy only needs ________.

Is never just an excerpt of a tune in his life. Black boy never needs ________.

Is never just black boy enjoying his own head. Ain’t nothing
a black boy could be thinking about to make him whistle or ________
either. Black boy whistle while he _______.

When black boy whistle
Black girls supposed
to strut. Harder. Black girls always want black boy desire.
When black boy whistle.
White girls supposed to run and
tell. White girls always reject black boy desire.
White boys supposed to
stop it. White boys always fear black boy desire. They supposed to.

Whistle must mean he staring too long at something don’t
belong to him. Everybody know black boy always looking at _________.
When black boy whistle
he be asking to bring the roof down around his head.

Asking for patrol car stop and frisk
And lynch mob too
He be asking for it
When black boy whistle
everyone come running to see what
ain’t nobody asked him to put his lips together and blow.


An award-winning writer, teacher, slam poet and performer, Amber Flame is also a singer and composer for multiple musical projects. Flame’s original writing and music has been published and recorded in many diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Requiem Press, Wicked Banshee Press, Another Passion, Jack Straw Productions, Eleventh Hour Productions, and Fireign Productions. Her one-woman play, Hands Above the Covers: Hairy Palms & Other Nightmares of a Church Kid, was mounted as an Artist Residency with New City Theater under the auspices of a CityArtist grant through the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Since moving to the Bay Area, Flame has begun working with California Shakespeare Theater Company as a teaching artist and runs the Oakland Slam as slammaster. She performs regularly on musical, slam, and literary stages, and works as an activist and organizer for a diverse number of theatrical, cabaret, queer, and POC communities.