The Story of Us


by Maurice Sanders

I asked myself while I was alone, sitting in the darkest part of my room, staring into the darkest part of my mind, traveling to the darkest part of my heart, what part of me wasn’t lovable before you decided it was okay for you to touch me in ways I never thought of or desired to be touched, and as I sat there, heart hurting from crying inside as my rock gut stored and recycled my pain I never formed an answer as my questions seemed to continue to mourn.

Who’s going to love you now, when will this nightmare ever end, how will I survive this pain, why was I ever born and how will I overcome this scar? With nothing but darkness to grip me, all I thought about was you.

And as I sit here alone in the corner of my bed, in the darkest part of my room traveling though the darkest part of my heart, trying to find structure and balance in the darkest part of her fears reading from the pages of the greatest story that was never told from a girl I loved and knew, I asked the source of her pain without any fears, worries or blame as I mustered up all the courage I ever knew, “But let’s just make this very clear, this is exactly what I feared.” What gave you the right to end what was ours and what was true and who gave you permission to touch her, and as I continue to carry on and read from the pages that was sung with tears lining the corner of my eyes, my heart hurting from wanting a gentle caress to ease the tightness inside my chest, my hands shaking from the madness that surrounds me from a girl I favored and somehow knew, as she was struggling to exist, reading out loud her deepest wish, wanting so badly to strengthen her strength so somehow she’ll pull through, I read the words that struck my nerves and I don’t know what to do as she wrote with courage and determination I knew that the cancer had grew, as she stated in loud bold letters like she wanted to yell and scream “Who invited you inside of my skin to crush all of my hopes and dreams and what gave you the right to touch me.”

Tears finally fell from my eyes at that moment with no surprise and my pain started to rise as my questions grew and my blame became a nightmare and my fear became so clear as I lost the little girl I loved and knew and the world was there to behold the greatest story that was never told as my darkness covered my soul and left a scar that never healed and only grew, from the invasion of her skin and a touch that will never end from a form that’s known as cancer that’s the truth, as my darkness became so clear and my heart formed its own tears I was forced to say goodbye to me and you.

I wish the world could somehow know about the greatest story that was never told about a boy that lost his soul and now he’s confused and a girl that stole his heart but was taken in the darkness by a scar that left its mark on who she knew and a girl that only loved and that’s the truth.

Trayvon Martin


by K.D.A. Daniel-Bey

He’s dead
Not because he was thuggin’ / or bangin’ / or being a public nuisance
No, he’s gone / because we failed him

We failed him by failing ourselves / by failing our history / failing
our posterity / holding our lives so cheaply / discarding one another
so quickly / therefore we failed him . . . / & because of our failure /
another young man, not just another colored/negro/black/African /
but another young man is dead

See / it doesn’t matter if it was at the hand of a wannabe
neighborhood watch cop / that had too much time on his hands
& not enough sense in his head / Nor was it because he was a
Euro-Hispanic bigot, tired of “them always getting away with it”
/ not even because that overzealous and highly suspect idiot / was
allowed to legally carry a gun / even with two strikes against him
on an honest-to-God official police record / who didn’t even follow
official police direction.

No, Trayvon is dead, and we killed him.
See / those six—? jurors did what juries have been doing for over
a hundred & fifty years / when a cheaply valued life / has/is/was
/ taken for sport / When a grown man with a gun can’t subdue a
skinny seventeen-year-old boy, armed with a bag of skittles / so
he manufactures a situation in order to slay that boy / Knowing /
believing / Assured . . . that he won’t be held accountable for the no
count life he has taken.

So Trayvon is dead.
He’s dead / like the hundreds of other Trayvons, Biancas & Ayannas
found broken & lifeless everyday / all over this great U. S. of A. The
Yummys & Amadous, Rodneys & Malices who / found themselves in
a stressful way / making a fateful decision on a faithless day / Their
lives torn away so cheaply / easily / not even holding any value to
their families / until they won’t see . . . them anymore.

We’re responsible.
The thing is / we’ll stand up when there’s a sound bite / but not
when it’s the right / thing to do / the hard thing, the smart thing,
the unity thing / We won’t demand our young people receive a good
education / a good home to stay in / healthcare to sustain them / the
proper example & values to sustain a nation / To fight the good fight
/ to bring our butts in at night / To make our neighborhoods right /
for their safety.

So don’t tell me you’re upset that G. Z. / got away with murder when
you line your own children up for the slaughter / daily / Maybe / to
honor this son / Trayvon / you need to let these things inform your
behavior / Stand up for what’s right, as real men and women with
your neighbors / Turn your world, your thoughts, to the efforts of
your labors / Never ever let your faith or you works waiver / until
the job is done

Let us honor Trayvon, the fallen son.



by Yusef Qualls-El

I am the revealer of truth
And healer of youthful minds
Spiller of fruitful lines
A spirit of something divine
Not just religious, dig it,
This is something more
Feel it down in your soul
It gets deep in your core
Bold & blatant statements
Shaping up taking form
In a place where there’s no hating
There are poetic pages born
Trying to find a means of escape
But there’s a horn
That’s in the background blazing
Saying “look world, here he comes”
I am the author, like the architect
Of people speaking tongues
I am a poet, so I write
Until me & those pages are one
Symbiotic, co-existing
On one breath from one lung
Co-dependent through life
Until death brings its guns
I’ll let my pen lead & defend me
From all ills at once
And let my pages be my shield
Pen & pad in the front
While my words are my fists
And each phrase is a punch
In a battle for my life,
They are never giving up
Clever witty stuff
Or irrelevant junk
As my heart beats
Each word eternally’ll pump!

Competent to Stand Trial


by Jamie Laufenberg

Bombarded with visions of the man,
with his unkempt beard and filterless cigarette in hand,
smoke trailing straight up his sleeve,
another satisfied customer stretches his arms and gets up to leave.
The prison yard chiropractor puts on his origami hat.
He strides away quoting the Bible from front to back.
The King James Version word for word,
directed to waiting ears but never heard.
Into a dark room, vacant look in the eye,
muttering incoherent words from mumble to cry.
She hangs in his hand, gripped by the hair, eyes open in dread.
His wife. His life. His Love. He cut off her head.
How he was found guilty I cannot comprehend,
sentenced to prison for life, till he ends up dead.
With a straight face the state’s doctor said he knew what he did.
Though by all accounts they were in love and that’s how they lived.
Another tragic decline in his mental was seen by all.
A professor who started conversations with ghosts in the hall.
Somehow the state said he was competent to stand trial,
while drooling and mumbling, unfocused the whole while.
Said he was a genius and knew how to fake,
30 years later with origami hat and Bible he’s still faking first-rate.
A genius with some things but with no traces of hate,
A 60-year-old man with a paper hat for god’s sake.
The judge, the prosecutor and the doctors in his case
all incompetent or liars. I hope they pay dearly one day.
This wasn’t the only time and they do it straight faced.


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