I Will Not Make Pretty of This Death


I grow tired of eulogizing my brothers
while their mothers cry over perifiated caskets
Of telling the story of him less gangster
That around this body was
not just a chalk line
but a family

My tongue grows weary
of sprouting tulips for dead boys
Whose mothers called them for dinner too late
Whose bodies were always built like machine guns
Who have been told to walk with a safety on
Who are used to running up a railroad

I will not make masterpiece of this massacre
Not again
Not anymore
This will be bloodied
and raw
and ripe
and riot
and dripping
Of every stain that a bullet could leave
I will leave the body in soaking shirts for this funeral
and wait for the aftermath of this anger
And there will be anger

See, I believe Mamie Till had it right:
to leave the casket open
for once
They will know
we know
what they have done

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