16 Years Old
Sharp tenure of boots in this callow country
grown from open skulls. A raw harvest of bullet casings
arranged in a perfect ring around you,
ruthless departure gate from your too-short life.
Old bricks laid on mud, on ancient bones.
A crooked wall that slithers in all directions, into all of us.
In the subway station, your hymnal of hail,
audible through the sagging window pane, and
the hushed light of a penny keeping to itself,
away from the wicked maledictions of trigger fingers.
This ending is the middle, halfway between genesis
and the great throwing open of all our secretive vaults.
Bullet one, entitled to flesh and the sin of pride.
Two more in thrall to the scent of a black body. With orders
from their gods, they plow your emptied land.
Still more, cloaked against simple pleas of muscle and bone.
The last bullet, addicted to death's sharp edges,
cracks your final seal. Your murder, a cage we have seen before.
No more. Hold every lucid moment close, so that
its delicate turbulence does not escape your accounting.
Those who have mispledged to protect will never
own this moment. It is yours alone, whether they pierce
mesh with metal or lies. You are not theirs.
only yours alone. Your bright eyes open again and again,
fireflies in their factory of dark rituals. Traveling
the undiscovered country, you are : finally : every last breath.