YaKuZa Moon

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–


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)




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




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,





thick summer


full of

shotgun nostrils


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


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



‘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,


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.