TO THE EXTENT X BODY INCLUDING ITS FISTS CONSTITUTE “WEAPONS”
by DAVE HARRIS
The word weapon is
vague. All bodies weapon.
Some bodies weapon louder
than others. Example: to find
freedom you cross the street
when you see me. Perhaps, then,
to find freedom I come after you.
The word you is vague. When I say you,
I most often mean INSERT X
WHITE PERSON HERE. I hate
what this country has done
to my language. I is always me. I is
Black. I is not a weapon though I will
become one when the time comes.
You is everywhere. You kill first
ask questions never. A weapon is
just a tool. Your skin is a weapon. My skin
is a defense against the sun. What will I
do when you come. I imagine I will
fight. I imagine I die. Death isn’t vague.
Death most always looks like us. I most
always smile out of spite. I sometimes stay
alive out of spite. I put my body in spaces
where I know you kill. I write my name
where you don’t expect it just to watch you
tremble. I hate my anger. I hate that my anger
is my greatest joy. I say my anger is my joy and I
become a heaven on fire. Fear is a weapon
that kills. Why we all afraid
is a useless question. I don’t ask
anymore. I hope your fear doesn’t
kill me. I hope your fear changes you
again. I hope you fear what karma will
make of you. I hope you fear what I might do.
I hope you fear the death that waits for you
in my smile.
*The title and first line of this poem are taken from a U.S. court document of Officer Darren Wilson’s list of admissions.