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ma’am, i’m sorry to tell you, your son is d-

By Darius Simpson
dangerously good at freeze tag, like ghost good
drenched in red puddles, but on his way
down by the gutter river
ditched laundry beside the sewer hole
drumming water’s edge lullabies with his mouth on a curb
delivering ripples up stream
dizzy sawdust scattered in moonlit dew-grass
devil horn handsome, should model for caskets
drunken squiggle soaking cement
dye staining black tar as we speak
drawing graffiti on his stomach
           with paint from his stomach
decoration for this new holiday you will both never forget and never celebrate
deflated bounce house blocking traffic
deer shown in headlights mimicking boyhood
dirt pinned between the tracks of my tires
dough kneaded into sidewalk cracks
driftwood floating in molasses
driftwood spinning in spine sap
driftwood sinking by the minute
dandelion seeds ripped from scalp stem by wind
          or some other invisible unforgiving
dense weight in exchange for a shorter shift
dummy after a crash test
dripping in gold sweat if you
don’t come collect him the bank will
deposit his remains as a graduation gift
definitely strong as he looks
double tough as steel beams
            ma’am i threw 1,000 pounds1 at him and he
didn’t even flinch
            matter fact it’s been two
days and he hasn’t moved any of his limbs.



1. police cruisers, weighing 454kg, may be
used as a weapon if deemed necessary force.




Listen as Darius Simpson reads "ma’am, i’m sorry to tell you, your son is d-."

Added: Monday, April 6, 2020  /  Used with permission.
Darius Simpson
Photo by Derick Jerome.

Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performance artist, disruptor, and skilled living room dancer from Akron, Ohio. He received his BA in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University. He is a two-time finalist at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). Darius is a candidate for his MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from Mills College. He’s partnered with a number of organizations as a Teaching Artist and Coach to engage with young people all over the Bay Area including: SF Jazz, Youth Speaks, and Oakland School for the Arts. His work is featured on platforms such as Huffington Post, Mic, TEDx, Button Poetry, as well as others. Darius's writing illustrates his complicated relationship with his Black body, family & distance, memory, and explores the humanity in systemically dehumanized, and otherwise oppressed, people.

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