Almost Livin’ Almost Dyin’

Almost Livin’ Almost Dyin’

BY JUAN FELIPE HERRERA

for all the dead

& hear my streets

with ragged beats & the beats

are too beat to live so the graves push out with

hands that cannot touch the makers of light & the

sun flames down through the roofs & the roots that slide

to one side & the whistlin’ fires of the cops & the cops

in the shops do what they gotta do & your body’s

on the fence & your ID’s in the air & the shots

get fired & the gas in the face & the tanks

on your blood & the innocence all around & the

spillin’ & the grillin’ & the grinnin’ & the game of Race

no one wanted & the same every day so U fire &

eat the smoke thru your long bones & the short mace

& the day? This last sweet Swisher day that turns to love

& no one knows how it came or what it is or what it says

or what it was or what for or from what gate

is it open is it locked can U pull it back to your life

filled with bitter juice & demon angel eyes even though

you pray & pray mama says you gotta sing she says

you got wings but from what skies from where could

they rise what are the things the no-things called love

how can its power be fixed or grasped so the beats

keep on blowin’ keep on flyin’ & the moon tracks your bed

where you are alone or maybe dead & the truth

carves you carves you & calls you back still alive

cry cry the candles by the last four trees still soaked

in Michael Brown red and Officer Liu red and

Officer Ramos red and Eric Garner whose

last words were not words they were just breath

askin’ for breath they were just burnin’ like me like

we are all still burnin’ can you hear me

can you can you feel me swaggin’ tall & driving low &

talkin’ fine & hollerin’ from my corner crime & fryin’

against the wall

almost livin’ almost dyin’

almost livin’ almost dyin’

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