In college, a Christian girl told me the last word from my mouth would be Jesus Even if my soul slid back / I’d call for my mama. (For George Floyd)

He called for his mama
Didn’t he?

I didn’t watch
It’s just what I’d do

He called for his mama
Didn’t he?

Later that night or the next day or the day after / they washed his body / removed earth from his head / from the other side of his neck

He called for his mama
Didn’t he?

Was she there?
Did:
that road soften? / he feel her?

His head pressed against all the fleshy mama bits
His mama just over there /// below him doing what Black mamas do when their Black children cry for them

It’s gon’ be alright.
Shhh
Shhh
It’s gon’ be alright.

He soiled himself
Didn’t he?

I didn’t watch
It’s just what I’d do

Shhh
Shhh
It’s gon’ be alright

He called for his mama
Didn’t he?

Asking her to look away / shhh
Asking if she’s come to get him
Just talking / like it’s a Monday evening in the summer and George just got home from the pool / Black as all outdoors / hungry / and his mama missed him and just wanna know what he wants for supper

Did his eyes gloss over
Did he leave that place
Did you see the surrender? / I didn’t watch

You can tell when a soul is done / long before the body breaks

A rumpled pant crease pressed into his neck / I hope it felt like home / not like hate / not like a rumpled crease

Like learning to tie a tie over and over again
Like play fighting / like falling from diving boards / like the hottest days of summer

Not like a rumpled crease / but
Like a tight shirt when school shopping with mama

Mama

I hope the earth pressed against the other side of his neck felt like his mama’s lips stretching over a wall / into a crib for the softer parts of her big head boy

He called for his mama because I would
Because if she could see me / she’d come If she heard me calling for her / she’d do what nobody else there did

Did she show?
He saw her, right?
Of course she did / of course he did

He called for his mama and she came / shhh / it’s gon’ be alright

She came knowing she’d be washing earth from the other side of her baby’s neck

One Comment Add yours

  1. Travis Walker says:

    #Excellent #Words

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