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from SUMMER, SOMEWHERE
somewhere, a sun. below, boys brown
as rye play the dozens & ball, jump

in the air & stay there. boys become new
moons, gum-dark on all sides, beg bruise

-blue water to fly, at least tide, at least
spit back a father or two. i won’t get started.

history is what it is. it knows what it did.
bad dog. bad blood. bad day to be a boy

color of a July well spent. but here, not earth
not heaven, we can’t recall our white shirts

turned ruby gowns. here, there’s no language
for officer or law, no color to call white.

if snow fell, it’d fall black. please, don’t call
us dead, call us alive someplace better.

we say our own names when we pray.
we go out for sweets & come back.

          //

this is how we are born: come morning
after we cypher/feast/hoop, we dig

a new one from the ground, take
him out his treebox, shake worms

from his braids. sometimes they’ll sing
a trapgod hymn (what a first breath!)

sometimes it’s they eyes who lead
scanning for bonefleshed men in blue.

we say congrats, you’re a boy again!
we give him a durag, a bowl, a second chance.

we send him off to wander for a day
or ever, let him pick his new name.

that boy was Trayvon, now called RainKing.
that man Sean named himself i do, i do.

O, the imagination of a new reborn boy
but most of us settle on alive.

          //

sometimes a boy is born
right out the sky, dropped from

a bridge between starshine & clay.
one boy showed up pulled behind

a truck, a parade for himself
& his wet red train. years ago

we plucked brothers from branches
unpeeled their naps from bark.

sometimes a boy walks into his room
then walks out into his new world

still clutching wicked metals. some boys
waded here through their own blood.

does it matter how he got here if we’re all here
to dance? grab a boy! spin him around!

if he asks for a kiss, kiss him.
if he asks where he is, say gone.
 
 
 
 
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