For Trayvon

July 14, 2013

Today, Adrienne Rich was right:

no poetry will serve.

No poetry will resurrect you,

future spaceman, send you off

to a better world than this.


A young black man is the boogie man

of a nation afraid

of what made it.

In Florida, the thrice great grandchild

of a genius they insisted

on calling Jimbo

charged with picking cotton

has been shot

by a man so scared of the past

he walked the streets in search

of specters.


On the occasion

of your death, Trayvon–

on the occasion of your

greatly hastened

departure; on the occasion

of your mother’s wails, your father’s fists

pounding the wall, breaking

our hearts,

poetry has no place.


If I could I would

peel back the pale skin

of the sky to the negro cosmos

beyond and send your young son

singing, like a rocket,

like falling star

in reverse

into the future.

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 10.31.58 AM


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