Skip to Content

On Calling the Cops.

By Rasheed Copeland

It took us this long to slow our dying

down to a languid and sensible pace

wherein the sugar might claim each our limbs

but never in one fell and vicious swoop

how irony does when the voice you use

to summon a state-hired cavalry

is also the one used to beg of them

to not create a Calvary where you stand

and make you a Christ begat from gun-smoke

so rules the nation’s practice of mishap

which reads the skin like a type of license

before any righteous explanation

just as the weapon gives its sovereign word

puckers its steel mouth to decide your name



Listen as Rasheed Copeland reads "On Calling the Cops."

Added: Thursday, September 6, 2018  /  Used with permission.
Rasheed Copeland
Photo by Naji Copeland

Rasheed Copeland is a native of Washington, DC. He is the author of The Book of Silence: Manhood As a Pseudoscience (Sergeant Press, 2015) and is a recipient of a 2016 and 2017 DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Award. He placed 2nd in the world at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam. He is currently studying English at the undergraduate level at Howard University. His work has been featured in online publications such as The Quarry and Public Pool. He has performed across the country and has been featured locally at renowned venues such as the Howard Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre.

Other poems by this author