Photography © Jack Marty


Watching George Floyd’s Tragedy Footage with My One-Year Old Plus son

i clap the muteness of water over you today    the day you stream
beyond the oceans   take the world by storm   son  the sky does not deserve the stars
but let her darkness teach you a lesson       you are black    you are black   you
carry the color that attracts stars  rising star
rise a rising star   hope is a bastard  flee it   it’s  the only reason
why i will never forever be your angel  it was the same promise i gave  your mother and until now
i have  failed to grow wings  and boy       butterflies are distant dreams
when you speak  for the first time  in a foreign land      your cheeks     stuck with a
colony of fleas    fear     watch where you go when you are by yourself   don’t question the
the curved finger on the trigger     they’ll tell you to raise your hands up in the air       and this does not mean you will survive still       they’ll tell you to say sir     which means to reduce yourself    which means to assume your place beneath the foot     your body pressed in full embrace of dust       son        i leave you with an infancy song
this poetry is tuning  into a sad song  but        boy I am trying to fan dead coals back to fire
my tears flooding  a room full of black mothers holding wreathes for their lost sons  
son     I  lid your ears    with palm oil verses      I lid  your eyes with my palms  because your body is yet feeble for grief       for the neck’s helpless groans under  the brutal knees of another  man in uniform       calling for mother    pleading  for breath   and no one comes to this cry of help    and   everyone is busy filming    and  now   is no more


Goodness Olanrewaju Ayoola is a Nigerian poet and teacher of English who reaches out to poetry as escapism from the contentions within and around him. His poetry has appeared in Pangolin Review, Deepwater Literary Journal, Brittle Paper, Mojave Heart, Ethel Zine and elsewhere. He is a Best of the Net Award Nominee and author of Meditations (WRR, 2016).

Jack Marty takes photos when he feels like it. Today’s photo was taken at the Black Lives Matter protest on Tuesday June 2.