I will no longer lightly walk behind

a one of you who fear me:

Be afraid.

-June Jordan

All of our selves

a mugshot posed revolutionary

even under duress. We see everything

despite Amerikkka doesn't see us

been at the mercy of

gravity's slippery slope & back-

slide of momentum

as if criminally visible

were a cultural accessory of lubricated impediment.

As if muscle memory

required we lower our eyes &

shut our mouths. A type of

call & response

that both clarifies & demeans

so that we can know & finally

see. The prey

that conjugates the Blue(s) into prayer.

All of our selves a colorful stereotype


colored the suffocation dangled

like a Billie Holiday meta-

phor strange fruit/: a hope &

a prayer murmuration of feral voices

that is by definition

we who persisted to survive. Immersed

in the chemical pheromone of stealth

crouched one kill stroke away

from the second

the outside gaze falters. All of our selves

the dignity worn on our chest

even silence could not keep hostage. Our umbrage

the singed hairtexture

of uprising

a ball-

peen rhythmic tribe of hammers. The boom-

boom-booming of gangsta' rap bass

pummeling the trunk of the hoopty cuttin' the corner.