Three Poems – Chace Morris

12gauge

Buckshot

or what happens 
when you pour enough
of my folk into the spot right 
before shit gets lit, folk meaning hennessey-drinking
gunpowder, spot meaning 70-something of us packed 
in a basement meant for a third of that right 
when  Drake reminds us muhfuckas never loved 
us, remember? And we do, cursive our bodies 
to the bass & sign some trauma's name 
onto the tongue of a gluttonous,
sweltering, joyous 
room 
& right 
around the part 
where Drake's like “hold my phone” 
B drunkenly asks what are we really?
over the music and I can't tell if Phe says It's fear
or a sphere but either way it gets me thinking how 
all us here steeped in the forge of twerk and grind and chorus
are a kind of ammunition, unstoppable scatter
collected into firework, a black-balled
hubris, and how dangerous this joy is 
in a world so afraid of anything 
that sounds like 
backfire
and mind 
you I'm leaned 
off 80- proof brown but still 
I mean like what the fuck; call us gunpowder 
ever 28 hours, line us up too many times for too long
& we eventually become a fuse, the type of shadow that catches 
fire when hammered against, lead into a barrel & set ablaze
divided we iron sand easy choke inside 
a fist black solid just asking 
to be river practically begging 
for the violence of un
solicited metal   
but 
to  get  her 
we turn whatever 
we jam inside of into a spent shell 
and anything dumb enough to step 
in the way of that from poorly-placed living
room table to unsecured iPhone mid-selfie to lottery of black obituary
to close friend drunkslurring into closet bigot can get slayed, 
see that's why the cops always show up, tourette-fingered
and off-safety— 'cuz they scared of the flood our skin
rains when we cumulonimbus under the same high,
all our sorrow piled on a bed down the hall, naked
in our abandon for a night, 'cuz you can't kill 
this disobedience with bullets, 'cuz we
the bullets, fear sphered 
and on our worst
behavior




Blunderbuss

or how I love
this woman who let me
lay arched over her knees
one night and coaxed
the reckless abandon out

my back, six shells eased
from my spine into one hand,
her other brushing the raged 
steel back  into relaxed neck
after realizing everything wants

to wear my skin but not
its weight or blood or magnetism.
So yes I love her 
loud and imprecise, portal
through another man's chest

to get home to it, cave his jaw
and athena through the crown
of his skull because this love
so trill it cupped my chin like trigger,
pushed her tongue into my barrel

until it softened and kissed back
all this fear, torrential and salted,
pouring down from my sight
sight now eyes, eyes now man,
man now unloaded but still

twitch & black iron, iron now tender
flesh in the arms of a deity
who named me love, allowed
me to name her love in return,
and unweld my exhausted body

into soft bend around hers
until I cannot hear the names— cop or victim—
only the lavender bath of her hum,
something Badu would baptize
into the wool of a man, and I sleep

holstered on even the most violent
of nights.




12 Gauge 

don't wait to drag my body

dead its name
				
start building my myth now so the story got good spine
Semi-auto 	dressed in all redacted like the omen
first name a serial number	filed off
last name heavy 	kickback in the grip of midnight
	
safety off cocked Killer Mike verse chambered
double-barrel against the wall  	    middle of the street   	     inside the car
body caught a body bout a week ago
sensitive trigger         God's sawed-off
	
which is to say I was born short & full with murder
a scripture keyed into each set of pipe ribs that reads
the key to not getting shot // is shooting first
ain't you crowned me threat level anyway?

mama prayer turnt buckshot amen-amen?
descendant of a hard-eyed Harriet & the unnatural
birth delivered from under her dress with the bloody
penance choked in its throat?      that cryfreedom?

hear you coming for me in the dark and I load 
my eyes wide/lock the violence at my neck
better bring a vest into every space you feel
comfortable enough to say my nigga in

every fraternity party        under-seasoned dinner
better be Ricky with the turn-and-run        better
be better          better know what I mean by that
I woke up today 	     ready to be 

every death you testify my body inkblots
into inside the loki of fading light 
I put holes in everything I aim for 	now
I speak car collision     dragon spit	

you don't really want it

I        conspicuous 	  bulge downtown tucked underneath a hood
black got this angry tar shine to it 	underneath the bathe
of all this pristine lunar white
I     spilling shells from my mouth	scalding all over the pavement

			as I walk    each with a familiar name I never knew
			and know all too well       the cold wind jamming
another and another and another into my back 
but I    full       I    hairpin          I    empty

			I   every cold 	  recoil 	you want me to be
			so long 	as when I emerge 	alive
its not murder but suicide
ain't that what its called 	when a man pushes himself

			disrespectful into the weapon and dares it to go 
off     ain't that what we are to you	 weapon  	when you promise we ain't
loaded 		right before we reach inside		you 		strike oil
when we finally do 

			what we supposed to do

			to a body that don't respect us?



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About Chace Morris

I am a poet/emcee/blerd/educator from Detroit who's 'fro is growing to Super Saiyan proportions. I am a 2013 Kresge Literary Fellow, 2015 Knight Arts Challenge recipient, 2016 Alain Locke Award recipient from the DIA, who on good days is your clutch cup of coffee & on the bad is legendary micro-aggression Pokemon . View all posts by Chace Morris

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