we are born on death row in monroeville

hope valley, the south side of chi


the contents of our character: civil wars

that makes us sick. head, heart, memory


cancerous cages of our own & others making

only we do not profit. new old feudalism.


prisons bred on third grade test scores

of black & brown boys, dead, chattel


or lost by 12. stumbling home in different

direction. sitting all day thinking about


your last day alive. so many wars we endure.




we live on death row on the evening

news, highways, stereotypes, before trials


the contents of our character: a congregation

of southern niggas dancing from pine trees.


sky an escape route, a musty prayer, a cloudy

truth. hope stutters like emmett. like terrance.


like walter. caskets before their birth. corpses

walking the block. bama heat a burning cross.


confederacy of venom. legislated hate. system

of babylon. got work and no work. work


harder nigga. work harder.




we don’t have to stay on death row. arc

bent toward justice. malcolm scott spirit.


the contents of our character: bryan

stevenson, clara luper, dr. king, el-hajj


malik el-shabazz. a bond that defies science

& reason. melanin our magnitude & fight.


we are all we have.

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