YaKuZa Moon

Botched Autopsy of the North End 

 

no head of the family

 

in this neck of the

woods.

 

Just.

grab the liter by the neck

and roll a wood.

 

no heart of lion

 

in the seven mile savannah

 

just.

heart of gold

traded for cash

cuz what if Nana need surgery

 

no eye of tiger

on the floors of the forest

 

just.

eye of storm

hope it don’t stop raining.

 

ever.

 

cuz.

 

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–

 

passed out

 

then away.

 

‘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)

 

I.

 

Hey you,

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

 

II.

 

this isn’t exactly the saga of some sage okay?

we burn that round here.

‘round Nana house we burn lots of things

 

like hair.

and grits.

and roaches.

and blunts.

and bridges.

and bridgecards.

 

I’m talm’bout

the rainbow-colored,

fructose-coated

tongues.

 

those

thick summer

mournings.

full of

shotgun nostrils

 

12 raids and

12 gauges at

12 years old

 

III.

 

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

 

but nevertheless,

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

‘manhunt’

 

‘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

 

IV.

 

so here’s to you,

 

cryogenic crybaby

 

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.