Poetry

Sixteen Shots

(I wrote this poem loosely on the shooting of Laquan McDonald when I was fifteen years old. Laquan McDonald’s killer, Jason Van Dyke, has been found guilty of second degree murder and sixteen counts of aggravated battery. This poem was also inspired by the death of an old classmate, Aaron Rushing, who was killed earlier that year)

Young Chicago boy

But his soul is old

Donning Robin

Angel wings

Head harvested

Cornrows

Butterfly strokes through

Crimson swimming pools

The darkest shade

Of melanin

Skin charred midnight blue

The shade he’s born

The darkest hue

Linked between two continents

Alpha and omega lands

He’s got style

He’s got flare

His fingers are callused

From guitar strings

Piano keys

Held tight

From pencil grips

He’s armed

With thirty dollars

And forty two cents

A brain infused with knowledge

And a decision on where to put it

Intellectual matter

Nourishes gravel rock

And pavement

Empowered by

A wasted, wound down fantasist

A purple heart recipient

Stretched out

Six foot two

Heated metal

Through the woven, cotton shield

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen shots

Uncovered in fifteen, sixteen, seventeen months

Standard

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