There are gods of fertility, corn, childbirth, & police brutality—this last is offered praise & sacrifice near weekly & still cannot be sated—many-limbed, thin-skinned, its colors are blue & black, a cross- hatch of bruise & bulletholes punched out like my son’s three-hole notebooks— pages torn like lungs, excised or autopsied, splayed open on a cold table or left in the street for hours to stew. A finger is a gun— a wallet is a gun, skin a shiny pistol, a demon, a barrel already ready— hands up don’t shoot— arms not to bear but bare. Don’t dare take a left into the wrong skin. Death is not dark but a red siren who will not blow breath into your open mouth, arrested like a heart. Because I can see I believe in you, god of police brutality— of corn liquor & late fertility, of birth pain & blood like the sun setting, dispersing its giant crowd of light.
(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.