Botched Autopsy of the North End
no head of the family
in this neck of the
grab the liter by the neck
and roll a wood.
no heart of lion
in the seven mile savannah
heart of gold
traded for cash
cuz what if Nana need surgery
no eye of tiger
on the floors of the forest
eye of storm
hope it don’t stop raining.
my hood not so snowflake.
in the sense that we all die the same.
or died the same.
grandad crawled into the hole of our house–
‘nough ‘rillo wrappers to circle infinity a hundred thousand times
‘nough local rappers for everybody mixtape to go platinum in heaven.
my hood not so glorious.
in the sense that our revenge is justice.
or just revenge.
Epitaph for the Skinny Nigga in My Gym Class; Who’s Not Really Dead Just in Suspended Animation From an Unfinished Game of Freeze Tag. (they was shooting)
project baby pantomime,
you can stop waving your arms now
ain’t nobody finna pick you,
you too lil.
take this time to pick the mulberries out of your hair.
or pirouette from Alabama red clay to Detroit jungleless concrete
this isn’t exactly the saga of some sage okay?
we burn that round here.
‘round Nana house we burn lots of things
12 raids and
12 gauges at
12 years old
my only care in the world
was catching a stray,
all the mangy cats
in my alley
love to play.
live to play.
like to follow me home and shit
but never wipe their feet at the door
hell, they never even come inside
they insist that ‘the floor is lava’
and I coulda sworn wasn’t no
volcanoes in the village
much less a mound that is not hollow
magma is bubbling under us
and there are no rafts,
just floating cadavers
with eyes of obsidian
and they all look like my cousin
we don’t talk about anymore.
colored boys learn we are monsters
‘round the time we stop calling it
hide and seek
and start calling it
‘round the time we notice our girlfriends
been wearing out their wrists
with games of ‘wring around the rosary’
and ‘red light blue light’
and double dutch with bullwhips
and hopscotch with investigation chalk
to win rained on streetlight memorial teddy bears
our corners erode without corporals
so here’s to you,
ghetto stained glacier statue
you the hardest nigga of all time,
and you betta be grateful,
sure wish I could deepfreeze my empathy
swallow my mangled manhood
untuck my strap
cuz when everybody dies this summer
your neck won’t get any blacker
your torso won’t be red and wet
your tears won’t shed, or slide, or pool or puddle.
they will freeze into forevermore.