the linger of a gun is too close
your mother is on the verge of collapsing
because when your baby brother goes missing
she fears of his silhouette on the news
you know the Red State
like the predominant color of a flag
like leftover blood on the orlando sidewalk
you know it has a knack for black boys in caskets
you don’t think about it / jordan davis died four years ago
because you are alive today / trayvon died four years ago
you were alive today
and someone might say that four years from now
Originally published in Issue 5 Poets In Unity: Responses to the Election of Donald Trump.
Jamal Parker is a poet, performer, and teaching artist. He’s a two-time International Poetry Slam Champion having won Brave New Voices (2015) and the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (2016). He’s a Watering Hole Fellow, and co-founder of the Spoken Word Duo Black Boy Fly. He’s been featured at Busboys & Poets, Orlando’s Diverse Word, Baltimore’s Louder Than a Bomb Festival, the NYC Javitz Center and much more. His written work can be found in The Altar Collective, Teenage Wasteland, and Poetry Nook. As of now he’s the artistic director of Babel Poetry Collective, where he produces and directs spoken word showcases.