Michael Brown Jr.

You went down like Moses,
And died before even the bullet
Burned through the shell of your soul,
Like freezing comets cooling a fiery,
Newborn earth, my nigga.

Your young legacy lingers
Loud as an ellipses’ orbit,
Surrounding the parchment of the tongue.

How, my nigga, can we fear
Roman retribution more than the sound
The fleshed word makes against the street?

When we see the sun,
How shall we adjust the memory
Of hair on your haloed head?

At your funeral a sheet of paper shall guide
An incomprehensible aria to the air.
From your lips through our voices.

We shall mouth the shape
Of your speech,
Awakening only your absence’
Stark presence in the street.

We shall fumble.
We shall gesture.
Tumble flailing tongues
Toward the wayward words
Which link us to the trials of our ancestors.

Your soul, hurtling
Like the halo of a fallen angel,
Shall fall faster than your body
Through the throat of every lived year,
Coming up as ether out every one of our mouths.

Now we shall join you
To the uterine eulogy
Of the moon’s contractions.

As I write this,
I raise you
Like a plague
Has got me,
Agonizing over all
Us cutting white
In Sisyphean toil
In these concrete cotton fields.

We shall fuse your bones
To these blocks,
Letting the legend
Of you bleed on-
To these blocks,
Winging us up
Taller than these towers
You wandered and died
Like a sun-starved dove under.

And like kites to heaven,
We send our woes.

We build these towers
Toward a homecoming