a book bag; universally colored, tucked inside an orange jumpsuit, arranged as a jacket to metal doors, and bed bugs chained to delinquents. The souls of hungry men, guilty or innocent, are built together with frantic eyes, caught on the edge of paper-thin cots,
kill beat kill.
This is the day lonely eyes are seized, ensnared on an island in a room intangible but authentic with blueblack feelings and disarmed manhood on suicide watch.
I take the #42 bus to BCC and wonder if we have ever smoothed the edges of our faces against books and noise.
I know you.
You are tongues of sanity, urban sidewalks littered with segregation and televisions that avoid speaking our truths. You are mangled atrocities, an unchecked mailbox, a registered voter, left in a facility of shame. And as I pray, I can’t hold you, I can’t capture your beginnings.
A book bag, an orange jumpsuit, a language of injustice, a memory of valor. Be still now and
"For Kalief" has been published by The Write Launch in Poetry Issue five, September 2017