By Stewart A Levitt, 8 August 2020
In casual, summer sleeves and with Fargo, Yankee sounds,
the pale cop is unmoored and vaguely sneers
as the dark man’s head is squashed into the ground:
That black face, stained with fear and grimy tears,
calling for his dead, sweet mama:
The man on top, intense, no drama:
rending cries, hushed by the hangman’s lullaby,
as focused iPhones detonate his alibi.
Like hounds, they’d cornered their piteous game.
They bore down on his inky, hulking frame –
the gentle giant they’d determined to subdue.
He’s the little boy in Warsaw, with hands-up: the herded Jew;
The negro, childlike, whimpering, with murder as his due-
and when they’re done they’ll dredge up lies to make it sane.
The Everyman then did it, while three rookies
there stood by and watched and listened
and did not do much, as they sensed the black man die.
And we saw it all in real time and remembering Nuremberg,
realized that base banality had undergone a surge.
This was not an enraged killing or a heated, angry spilling
but a frigid, racist lynching in the warm, white light of day.
As the ashes rise and scatter from the inferno they’ve been willing,
we’ll know that black lives matter from the sting of pepper spray.