Author Darius Simpson - you know that nigga was a nigga

You Know He Shot at the Police Right?

for Hakim Littleton 
you know he might not have had his hands up
you know he wasn’t up to date on his ymca membership
you know he did not mentor at risk teenagers after school
you know his license was suspended and his tail lights shattered
you know he wasn’t wearin a lick of white when they found him
had his pants saggin had his shirt untucked
had his lips unbuckled drippin southern twang all on the concrete
sound like a mouthful of honeybees was stuck at the top of his throat. 
you know he was Black like BlackBlack like dark roast coffee beans Black
like ashy knuckles cradling a bottle of wild irish rose on the sidewalk Black 
like tattered scarecrow clothes perched just outside the corner store doorway Black
like purple tar gums and gold teeth
like paper bag hands and menthol breath
like empty black and mild wrappers in the glove compartment 
i heard it wasn’t even blood where they left him 
i heard it was just stains of red koolaid
i heard it was just puddles of strawberry pop fizz
you know sugar woulda got him if twelve didn’t 
you know his teeth were little yellowing daggers 
you know he was a dragon and returned fire
went out in a puff of smoke 
you know he was a weapon. didn’t beg for his life. or call for his mother. or his partner.
you know that nigga went out on his feet. brought a gun to a gun fight. brought mutiny to a slave ship at the atlantic shoreline. you know that nigga was a nigga and not like haha nigga not like next democratic presidential nominee nigga not like run fast jump high nigga like worm food covered in tree bark like lead water clogging an artery like dead leaves stuck in a gutter like storm the arsenal and shoot the masters like one of those give me liberty or give me blood types nigga got the nerve to want freedom and do somethin bout it.
and still y’all gon march for him? what would malcolm x’s old zoot suit think? what would a white woman’s rendition of dr. king think? what would the noose say? what if they see us mourning and think we just as dangerous as him? what if i say liberation and they think i mean i hate amerika? what if i hate amerika but don’t know no other homeland? what if amerika hates me back and does something about it but doesn’t leave me time to shoot first?

More from this Writer

Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performer, and skilled living room dancer from Akron, Ohio. His work has appeared in New Ohio Review, The Adroit Journal, Crab Creek Review, and others. Darius believes in the dissolution of empire and the total liberation of all Afrikans by any means available.