by Steven Waddell
His pupils were tight like the knots of a noose
And as dark
As his skin 
Those pupils so compact in his face 
Trying to take in the bright sea beneath his feet
Their pupils were loose 
Like a runaway 
And sat obese in their eyes from its consumption of the darkness
Some closed their eyes 
They would not dare be seen with black in their faces
His feet were planted for the first time in three days
On a four legged steed name retribution 
She will carry him home 
He is an example 
And that is why they now look up to him 
Until this moment he was afraid of death
But fear is something to be forgotten when you are fighting for your life
And amnesia had kissed him on the forehead around seventy-two hours ago 
In the night 
That was as dark as his pupils 
As black as the souls of the men beneath him 
He fled 
Like water from the eyes of a mother who has heard of her only sons lynching 
His feet roamed quickly like the light of his seekers 
There was no drinking gourd to follow 
He only ran away
Those feet 
The same feet that carried his narrow body 
Were the reason for his capture 
The hounds uncovered the trail of blood left behind by his purple feet 
That burst open and revealed tart flesh 
Like an unripe plum 
Now those same feet cemented on the back of horse staining its pale coat
Death is something he lusted after 
As long as there were no more screams
No more nooses 
No more bull whips 
No more burning 
Of men
Or talking sheets he was fine 
He new from Sundays in the church house 
That God would forgive all except murder of one’s self 
But as he heard the shouts of the bright sea beneath him 
To see red, emerge from his shadowed skin
He dug his toe nail into the side of the stallion 
And leapt 
Like an angel 
In its ascendance from earth to heaven 
His last thought was 
God will have to understand.
His mouth was open wide enough to swallow galaxies 
Arms raised to the sky as if God were pulling him by the tips of his fingers towards heaven 
God was pulling him by the tips of his fingers towards heaven
The officers were responding to a call about a suspicious man in the area
The street was empty and as narrow as a prison cell
When they came up to him he assumed the position 
Arms locked behind his head to show that he had no intention of harm
His ankles were magnets drawn tight displaying that he would not try to run
His mouth perched ready to explain his reason for existing in this situation
Because he would need one 
When the shot came he didn’t hear it
Just felt the pain rushing as if it were behind schedule 
It spread like a blanket over his body 
And made him feel just as warm
The blood that was once held securely within his body 
Graffitied the pavement
He didn’t flinch 
Just fell to the ground like a bullet shell from a smoking gun
The officer yelled freeze as he laid there lifeless