Fragments Of Tamir’s Body

by A. Van Jordan

“…I am dead.
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.”
                  Hamlet Act 5, Scene 2

                  the body’s shadow
had much to say,
but no one in ear shot
understood its language

                 ~

                   the clouds stood heavy,
and when the cops confronted the body…

                  ~

             the boy showed his prowess to indulge in play,
just one of his many gifts,
which scared onlookers

                 ~

            no black man appeared in the park,
just a child, just people judging him

                 ~

          as he approached,
she wondered how she’d explain him
to her father

                  ~

          the opportunities for joy
presented themselves
in more colors than the boy
could name, so he chose black,
enjoying them all

                 ~

         passersby who laughed at him
showed their gratitude by memorizing his face,
then by wielding his visage whenever
they found themselves in a jam

                ~

          was his laughter a declaration
of his joy or a sacred prayer
offered over poor souls resigned to their fate

                 ~

          corn chips, black licorice, marbles,
plastic pellets, toy gun, jaw breakers,
bubble gum: crushed apogee of memory

                 ~

         when he imagines knowing then what he now knows,
he imagines dying before his time

                 ~

          a jar of preserved pears,
canned by his grandmother,
occupies his mind. When he gets home…

                 ~

          a man beats a drum in courtship to his beloved…
nah, a boy dribbles a basketball,
boasting of his youth

                 ~

        a saga took place in the mind of the police,
as they glimpsed the black child,
who was caught smiling as he walked toward them

                 ~

        his sister’s scream, pulled
from a well too black to ring shallow,
echoes whenever his name …

Poem copyright 2022 by A. Van Jordan. All rights reserved.

&
See two more poems from A. Van Jordan debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle: Bored, Tamir Chooses to Dream,”  and  “Hex


Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s