Ed. note: Over the next few days I’ll be posting responses to the murder of Michael Brown and non-indictment of Darren Wilson. Prose, poems, essays, collages, music, photos from vigils/rallies, and film for inclusion can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What You Don’t Name
for Mike Brown, Ferguson, MO
Belief is a paradise we visit.
Days heap upon us. Rubber bullets.
Walk against the tear gas winds.
Someone look me in the eye.
My favorite X-Men was Rogue.
I would play her in the movie
version of my girlhood. Some feel
rain, others just get shot.
I enamored myself to a world
where touch was most dangerous.
Can I express this to my governor.
My white skin shivers against
no threat, my white skin is my country
the milk forms a skin to protect
and become its own putridity.
My white skin can I burn
how it protects me, can I.
There is never an excuse
for violence against police.
Excessive force describes a scene
of blank in which blank did blank
to black. I searched Obama’s transcript
for black, I searched his transcript
for African. No results. I searched
the transcript for white. One result.
When does metonymy spill
out of its jar to ruin the thing
that contains it. White House.
White lies. White problems what
problems. Emotions, they can be
described as raw. One is always
describing over the sound of testimony.
I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.
One irony is that the root of evidence
is obvious. It is the final American irony.
Rogue strapped gloves to her hands
to prevent her death-touch from others
and I always thought of Mickey Mouse,
wondered what terrible blackness
crawled under the empty cloth.
I become the lines that make me.
Belief is a blood that to work stays hidden.
This is what it means to be lawful.
Seven times into the body, the bullets
deaded lawfully. A whiteness forms
over the edge of each wound. A law
spurts out, then another. Another.
Another. Another. Another. Another.
Now and now there is a law
in accordance to its shot. A body
becomes the lines that make it.
To name it is to label the beast itself.
You see I have named the bad things.
You see this makes them mine forever.
Find and replace, find and replace.
Now is a time to heal. So. Heal.