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By Quincy Scott Jones
I. George Zimmerman Presses the Mute Button
They say I was angry
The same country that promotes
drunks and pot heads to President
The same eleven o’clock
news that shows sobering
views of Trayvon in his hoodie
next to sketches of the same height
weight race under the crawl of “Still at Large”
They talk about the bar fights
remind me of domestic charges and police exams
So what if I am angry?
Or thought I was
cause I never saw anger till
I saw that kid’s fists
and I don’t know how you get so much so young
but he could have punched a sink hole the size of Florida
with enough chains he could have dragged the entire nation into the sea
II. Conversion of a Bullet
I weigh the same as seven Skittles
a hundredth of an Arizona tall ice tea.
In a fraction of a second
I am faster than cable news commentary
can outrun any child’s cry
but most of my life is spent
confined in a chamber
jammed metal to metal with my brothers
shivering in the same nightmare:
Will it hurt when the hammer falls?
What happens when the trigger’s released?
Imagine my relief after the fire
when I felt the warmth of human flesh
nestled in the boy’s chest
found rest in a ready-made womb.
What should I care whose life I devour?
In the flash I was greater than God
III. The Phone Call Trayvon Never Made
There’s a white man following me
and I think he’s got a gun
trying to do me like Malcolm
like Medgar Evers in my own driveway
Drive me away like Assata Shakur
I think she’s Tupac’s mom
I’m not sure but I think I have been sentenced to thug life
Did you not have the words to warn me of this much fear?
My phone is dying
My text messages will be used against me in a court of law
My attorney will be appointed to me by a state
That had a slave code before it was a state
No I don’t understand the rights you have given to me
No I don’t understand why I must remain silent
Quincy Scott Jones’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the African American Review and the Journal of Pan African Studies and such anthologies as Draw to Marvel: Poems from Comic Books, Heroics: Strange Tales of Absurd Superheroes, From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth and Let Loose on the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75. With Nina Sharma Jones he co-created the Nor’easter Exchange: a multicultural, multi-city reading series. His first book, The T-Bone Series, was published by Whirlwind Press in 2009.