-for Michael Brown-
Michael, we hear it.
The rust in your breathing.
The road stretched far too long; the sirens
rearing up like horses chasing fox.
The bloodhounds with their thirst
behind the wheel. Pistol. Badge.
It is a terrible machine, Michael.
A cold, anonymous steel. In your dying,
we heard cogs skipping their teeth;
we heard your pleas, were offered
hinge-grease mitigation remedies,
were told assault; were shown
the roadkill at the wheel of the car.
They’re trying to keep it running,
Michael. Weren’t you tired of running?
Of living with your hands above your head; of
black-but-gentle, black-but-college-in-October; black
and everything desired, contradiction?
Michael, gunshots. Michael, six. Four,
and you might have survived, they said.
The glistening, mole-blind bones
that held you upright; walked you slowly
down the street you couldn’t cross,
your body dark; your eyes
reflecting what they saw.