“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.”
James Baldwin

SIX (for Officer Darren Wilson who shot Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO Aug., 9, 2013)

ppsshoommmm! One.
How was it, Officer,
that first pull after his hands raised skyward
gunless and brown?
your lips licking the scent of power
adrenals screaming for a fix

ppsshoommm! Two.
Where in your body did you feel the fear?
groin or the bulls eye
ingrained on your mind’s eye?

ppsshoommm! Three.
Hand shaking yet, Wilson?
Will it be better with your woman tonight
now that you’ve fired the big gun?

ppsshoommm! Four.
Are you and your god both
scanning the manual ?
Reasonable force Justifiable homicide
justifiable homicide reasonable force
bloodied mantras for redemption

ppsshoommm! Five.
How many dead men must you kill
for the hunter’s trophy
stained high fives from the boys in the club?

ppsshoommm! Six.
This self defense against Blackness
six sixteen sixty-six 360
all the Michael Browns are yours now, Darren
a retinue of riddled spirits
hovering til life claims you
without taking a shot.

S. Pearl Sharp
Nov. 2014
c. 2014 S. Pearl Sharp/ Poets Pay Rent, Too

The audio of the poem is below:

      1. SIX-by-S.-Pearl-Sharp-11-22-14