The City – Jason B. Crawford

i am lost here // somewhere between infinite and unforgiving
// i stand at these street corners and yell obscenities in the air
// hear them echo back // know what it sounds like to be called
names but remain scabbed // numb to the hairs tightly
braiding nooses around my neck every time I drive by an
officer // to step on branches but not think fire // full cities
burning // flickering and salem in the same instance // i am a
city unrest // no matter my shade i am midnight black // semi
crescent moons, my teeth // i play werewolf // helpless //
frankenstein // at these corners my skin unravels // lay waste
// volcanic ashes spews over entire fields // no plants grow
from these scars // i stand bullet wounded // beaten //
abrasioned wrists chained to fences // identities drowning in
water /trying to breathe from a place that’s missing:
Missing Mother Africa
Missing Rights
Missing Children
Missing the cure
Missing God
Missing that you were different
That you love different
But you are Missing this difference
I am not that different
Light a match
Ignite the torch
Set it down on your gasoline tongues
And watch your cities

Jason B. Crawford is black, bi-poly-queer, and a damn force of nature. In addition to being published in online literary magazines, such as High Shelf Press, Wellington Street Review, Poached Hare, The Amistad, Royal Rose, and Kissing Dynamite, he is the Chief Editor for The Knight’s Library. His chapbook collection Summertime Fine as a Short List selection for Nightingale & Gale. Jason is also the recurring host poet for Ann Arbor Pride.