XXXI. For Akilah (first published 2-6-13)

Akilah, I’m thinking of you this morning
As I see the lights from the Q bouncing off the apartment walls,
The tracks’ rattling rattling the house.
You dead at fifty in Fort Greene, your punishment for trying to be in the world.
You spent so much of your life mourning that we don’t know how to mourn you.

How you living?

In 2006,
You asked me to write something about Oluchi,
I started but couldn’t write more,
So instead, I write about you.

How you living?

The injustice of your death
The injustice of your death is not only the injustice of a system
The injustice of your death is a cosmic injustice
I strain to wonder why your death did not bring down renovated apartments in Bushwick
Why it didn’t topple the highrises in DUMBO
Why it did not halt Wall Street and its speculations.

How you living?

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