“Atlanta showed me my first pig carriage in flames.Mohammed Al-Kurd
I am learning how to pour gasoline on discourse.”
atlanta taught me a poem’s a dead man walking, that wordy flesh is already dead by the time it hits your hands. atlanta taught me what it iz, what it ain’t, and what it’s gon’ be: chalky hands tie tight strings at the rib cages, through ankles and fingertips, just behind the neck up through the forehead, and with puppet master precision sit back and enjoy the show. glass all under my eyelids from staring at storms through the window. glass under my gums from them days chewing on history. atlanta pulled up its shirt and showed me a bruise shaped like a grave. atlanta peeled back its skin, sat me down, crunched the numbers, explained that child murders have turned a profit since ‘79, and ‘79 before that, and ‘79 before that, and so why would they stop grinding the bones now? i didn’t know a death more intimate than witnessing a chameleon impaled mid color change. some called it a tragedy, others called it casual and made dua in lemon pepper wet. there’s stammered memory in the water here. atlanta taught me to teach my damn self. taught me to sell a dream, steal a hope, and buy a buck. that angels got good aim, too. this city eats its martyrs, celebrates when they let go of its teeth. it teaches its young to fake life and hide all that dead in their eyes if they want to survive. that highways are rest stops for crowds of protested bones and a city can be a company’s personality trait. that an acquaintance is an acquaintance, and you ain’t no friend until you’re dead. i place the microphone to the grave and shrug. the crowd uncontrollable as it laughs its way through another death called tuesday blues. the dirt has seen this all before, the laughter masking tears, and asks if we’ve seen the gas prices lately.