Poem Written on the Anniversary of Mike Brown’s Murder, Ending in a Pearl
After Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
By Julian Randall

Is the sky to go white again?
A rapture in the hue of a pearl.
More shattered glass
gleaming across asphalt dazzling
  false sky as
the sidewalks become
a spreading field of roses

They killed another boy today.
And my tongue shriveled in the hot air
of my mouth.

Wicked magic:|
where a name I did not know
becomes something
  I could never not know again.

Part of me wishes I could make this beautiful
explain how the pearl is formed
from the absorption of foreign bodies
the genesis being something       out of place
How the sky is a mouth swirling with bodies
how this is how they make our bodies presentable
                  draping us in smoke
Until even heaven barely recognizes us

Julian Randall is a Living Black poet from Chicago. A 2016 Callaloo fellow and two time national college slam competitor, he traveled to the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) earning the title of Best Poet. He currently works as a teaching artist with the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. His work has appeared in Winter Tangerine Review, The Killens Review, and Pluck! A Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture.