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on tuesday,
dylann roof was sentenced to his death.
on tuesday we tried
to make one body feel like nine.
to make one body feel like justice.
on tuesday we said
there has got to be some price to pay
for entering the house of god
with a sinful tongue
and a handgun.

six days later,
we remembered the rev. dr. martin luther king, jr.
we looked at the world,
called it a place with potential for change,
called it that because there has to be some softer way
to look at bloodshed,
for sanity’s sake.
if not then
all that remains is a solitary image of dr. king rolling in his grave because he knows,
knows that breathless black bodies
are a constant,
are transcenders of time,
whether sunken in rivers,
hung from taut ropes,
or bathing in blood on historic church floors,
singing, singing, screaming, shrill
for some messiah bringing mercy, mercy, mercy.

felicia sanders wants mercy:
prays for it, wills it down from up above,
unfolded from the hands of god
so that it might fall upon the head and in the eyes
and within the very being
of the man who killed her son.

it takes a certain grace —
one so foreign to me i can hardly write of it —
to see god in such men who deliberately defy Him,
to ask that heaven’s gates
be so indiscriminate and overt.
i would want him to burn for this.
but it is not my say,
not my life,
not my long, resounding, unflinching “hallelujah!”
not my certain type of grace.

breathless black bodies
are a constant,
are transcenders of time, a recurring motif.
but so too, then, is the black body full
of breath,
that inhales and exhales faith
without ceasing.

such is the black body
that sees a little bit of god in dylann roof,
that prays that he prays for forgiveness,
that thinks there to be but one kingdom,
and he, too,
a worthy subject.

the solitary image of dr. king rolling in his grave
is not a surprise.
the black body has always known
so well
how to die.

but felicia sanders hopes her son’s killer finds mercy.
perhaps the one thing the black body has always known better
is how to love.

written 1.16.17 in honor of MLK day, and of the charleston church shooting victims. #blacklivesmatter, today, tomorrow, and always
you were ready for a conflict that never ended–
teeth bared, fists clenched, furious and broken,
spitting blood
on the image of a one-day corpse of yourself that
always threatened to become reality.
you learned to love with your claws out,
battling self hatred the way most people
have to deal with traffic on their way to work—
you hid your vulnerabilities like a lost lover, smiled so wide that it could tuck pain into your back pocket without anyone ever noticing,
but even so,
your heart rate never slowed down
because it set its pace with how fast you struggled to
outrun yourself, an agony you never asked for,
and no matter how much time you spent in the shower,
your heart will always have the stench of someone else’s misplaced guilt.

there is this though:
the sting of an open palm will fade
the slamming doors will only be the wind
the abuse will no longer rule your mind
the dust will settle
one day, i promise, you will be able to lay down your armor
but for now i understand why distrust is braided into every fiber of your being
kids like us
we speak a language they can never learn.

– *(i know the wars you fought, i fought them too)
stuff from my upcoming book
is the title of my self-published poetry book-- it will have stuff not seen by anyone or hello poetry, so tune in, if you wanna.
• it was always you-- until relatively recently
• you're not the epitome of romance so you say, but why did you hold me like you want to romance me
• i was sorry if it seemed like i moved on the first few months -- i was never good at being open
• i could've let you help me
• did you like being undefined or did you want something more concrete because i felt as though i was the one with a happy broken heart and you found something perfect for you
•i miss you, always missed you and will miss you if you leave again
Bullet points because I can't even make a normal poem--

"You don't wanna bring me down, you don't wanna say good bye, you don't wanna turn around, you don't wanna make me cry, well-- you caught me once, maybe on the flip side I could catch you again, you caught be once maybe on the flip side you could catch me again.."
and i'm not original--
but art is art,
and i guess i'm andy warhol.
with love
i can only wonder
how so much has changed, and can change,
in such a small amount of time
i have alot of thoughts but i'll make it simple.
all she wants to do
is make beautiful things,
but she doesn't even know what beauty is.

this looks nice, so simple, minimalism.
but is it a masterpiece?

question everything. the head is full.

what is art?
what is purpose?
what is pleasing?
what is ugly?
what is permanence?
what is thieving?

and of course there is the, "why?"

it continues.
it continues.

she thinks.
there is no answer.
simply a carousel of questions.
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