Growing up in the weary Midwest
the streets wore enough salt to preserve the flavor of hopeless.
Where winter curled up in the basement of your throat
and made home there.
Only to leave space for the afterlife
an aftertaste that holds curious mouths forever captive.
The skies here reject the ascension of hope
only allowing the evaporation of exuberance
from cooling prayers, of fainting souls.
Lips painted blue with capitalism
chestnut chocolate bodies stretched across pavement
skin be they coffin.
No one bothered to outline in white
cause ain’t no new angels majoring in black salvation.
You can’t tell me all these hearts are wound to victim.
Time too is seated at the table of my enemies?
No one is more patient than man awaiting a savior.
Perhaps the weighing of his faith
led to the cracking asphalt he now calls home.
Making way for death’s desiccated roots to awake,
stretch, and lick away mother’s tears.
Nothing more patient than bullets begging to taste black backs
the ones that thrive on the extinction of the strength we call mama.
Bringing sons as first fruits to concrete
forcing mama’s body to bloom chrysanthemum
while watching the joy of her son seep into asphalt.
A hand-me-down tombstone, begotten of a benevolent earth
hungry for the nameless.
In the weary Midwest
justice is patience
patience is inaction
inaction is another man’s peace
and peace is sleeping on prayers the guilty is never caught.
In the Midwest
You don’t grow up.