Michael Brown Jr. Was on the Verge of Starting College

Sometimes hope must wander backstage

to pine in an environment of darkness,

and cynical depression haunts the crevices of the heart

like daubed vasoline, like smudged ether. 


It’s a haunted world.  Black bodies lying in the street,

people walking by, eyes in their pockets, the cringe

and desperation of obliviousness tugs on the coattails

like some insidious call-out.  I don’t know


where I fit in, what kinds of

“strategies” or lack of strategy I need to invoke

to sever neutrality from all our longings, to slice

the flaccid “a” from “apolitical.” 


Greed is at the heart of so much of our conjectures,

it’s frightening and disgusting and all-too-familiar.

Meanwhile the coast batters the sand-wedge,

the sea rises up in all its veiled murmurings.


The heart cries out, ripped from the stuttering valves,

calling out for some reprieve, some healing confrontation,

knowing that underneath the melodrama lies

the real hurt, the melancholy and fatigue


that rushes through the body like a purple river

of pain, ghosts, history, and trauma.

That’s when the tears well up as a dancer

stands before the floodlights,


and in the glare of that dark brightness demands

from the sheer force of the body’s genius

some complicated survival of – not wonder,

but some form of anticipation


that we might bathe in once in awhile,

especially when any hope has been snuffed out

once again, and the country’s ghosts

have seized the neck and wrung out


some garbled message that makes no sense,

or makes so much sense that we become

overwhelmed by the pain and must then seek

the roots of some earlier expectation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: