(for Stephon Clark’s grandmother) shave your face. a haircut even. kiss your kids. your partner. your parents. tell them you listened. you kissed their asses like you were taught. kissed their asses and still. walk. or run. don’t matter. glue your identification to your forehead. wrap yourself in the flag. hand over heart. hit the high note. hide your slang under your tongue. delete your profile. scrub the net. clean your blood. prepare your body for peepholes no one will ever peer into.
Copyright © 2018 by Jason Reynolds. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 31, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.