IF THEY GUN ME DOWN (LIKE THEY DID YOUR GRANDFATHER)
– To My Four-Year-Old Son Zion
Zion, my son
When encountering police
Try not to hold anything shaped like a weapon
So slip out of your skin boy
Shed that melanin like so many scales
Let it slide off your shoulders like your life depended on it
While pushing it past your waist, try a little shuck and jive
‘cause no one ever got killed for cooning
Big! Bright! till your gums swell to bursting,
Like they’ve been beaten with nightsticks
Let ‘em see your teeth
Maybe their whiteness will protect you better than begging
But above all else remember
not to hold anything shaped like a weapon
So lay down your dignity
Let it settle on the ground like lifeless limbs
Like mothers grief, like it’s just been choked out by the NYPD
Let it lay there dying, sitting in the sun, rotting like misplaced faith
While witnesses gather, maybe you could dance,
It serves the dual purpose of showing you are unarmed and happy
But first, make sure you’re not holding a weapon
So leave your pride at home,
Sit it on the shelf next to your next of kin
Scrub all your online photos,
Only take pictures of you holding:
diplomas and kittens and sunshine and stuffed animals,
Don’t you dare grimace
Boy you better grin like rigor mortis has set in
PANTS?? Hell no your can’t wear pants!
Don’t you know pants have pockets and pockets hold dangerous things like:
cameras, phones, gum, numbers to lawyers
Zion, haven’t you been listening?!
Boy you better put on something a little less threatening like:
A casket, a funeral suit, a toe tag
Put on something that fits:
like prison jumpsuits,
like bullet wounds,
like billy clubs,
Something they can recognize like
like “he was coming right for me”,
like “he fit the description”
LIKE “he was reaching for my gun”
Remember anything dangerous you did in the last week
can and will be used against you..
So make sure you don’t: breath, walk , exist…
As a matter of fact if you were so kind you’d kill yourself and save them the trouble
They got better things to do
Don’t you know they got comedians to grieve and coffee to sip
Don’t you know they got lawns to mow?
Don’t you know game is on?
Zion, don’t you know?
you deserve this?