by Kei X. Griot
For little brother Lee Weathersby III, big brother Lamar, all those lost, all unnamed
Have you ever seen a black rose? Ebony
petals Obsidian like the night. Ever
clipped a rose or heard a drive by?
Released the spirit of a flower into the sky?
Heard a brother screaming out for help?
Stayed inside, outta sight, without offering?
Fear of being the next in coffin.
Pick a rose, place it on the corner. How many
been shot on my block on 94th? How many
souls left cold in the heat? Ruled homicide
without a coroner? Yeah, I heard those shots,
cried for that brother from behind closed door.
How many bodies need to be bodied
to settle some score? What we hating for?
Steel loaded with bullets; ready on the
trigger–gonna pull it, ready to bust back,
not at cars–in the air up to the stars. Seen
wilting flowers nursed back to life with: care,
sugar water, sunlight and love spoken into
flower bloomed./ Is a rose born with thorns?
Born into a thicket of thorns. Gardeners
meant to mourn? Tend with compassion
through the storms. A black rose, budding yet,
slain on New Year’s Eve. ‘Every time we plant
a seed, kill it before it grows.’ ‘Taking babies
from their mamas, leaving grief beyond
compare.’ But I’ve seen wilting flowers
nursed back to life with: care, sugar water,
sunlight and love spoken into flower bloomed.
Shots mixed with firecrackers, boomed throughout
the night. Stayed out the street, outta sight.
Somebody’s baby done taken a flight. Was
the day of Imani, but how can we hold tight
to faith? When they killing our babes,
our flowers, our future. Tread on the once stains
with heavy feet. Another shot dead in our streets.
Petals falling softly. Love be and love be got.
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Kei X. Griot is a poet, performer and filmmaker. Together, Kei and partner Gabrielle Wilson-Sealy founded BEYONDEEP Productions as a multimedia platform to empower marginalized people and spread love. Look out for their upcoming documentary “Dreams In Black Space.” See the trailer on youtube: http://youtu.be/t73Oxn9MLRM