Trayvon Martin_Thug Is the New Nigger.JPG

Photograph by David Shankbone

A thug parts the ways at night,
the purses drawn near, the clook clook

of locking doors, the wary whites
of eyes, and you could all but see
the thoughts undulating

through the fog of their myopia.
What makes a thug

boils down to genetics, the natural coloring
of animal tissue, a curse, according to Alma,
an unoccupied seat at the dinner table

And so I see the end of time,
the roars of lesser gods who tear at my humanity

with leaden teeth, and even as my blood
nurtures the remains
of the extinct, they can see no sameness

in me. Thug
is the new nigger.



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