Honorable Mention – 2024 Beverly Hopkins Contest for High School Students

Street Justice

Metro Academic & Classical High School

I am from a symptomatic embassy
       with diplomatic tendencies
              and enigmatic enemies
                     with automatic enmity, energy
       They see my gold badge; they’re acting finicky
They treat us like we’re autocratic entities
       Panchromatic imagery cascades my buoyant memories
              and scares my nervous sympathy until my nerves become erratic timidly
Post-traumatic emblems mixed with Hennessy refract my mind and mortify my empathy
       Implore upon my synergy
             when pit against the entropy
             and see it shatter quick unlike the fortified vicinities
             they capture slick and supervise with satisfied hegemony,
                    and glorified amenities,
                           and demiurge extremities

I’m horrified and mimic the demoralized asymmetry
       I let my gun speak like a verbalized soliloquy
       I hit the streets primed like a certified delivery
                and feel Amazonian when holding this machinery
The sun hides behind the clouds like in detest of all the scenery
A vest beside my chest unless a bullet hits my head, and yes,
       I’m cynical
              It’s all too cyclical
                        A black boy’s killed,
                               another takes his place three days later like it’s biblical
I can’t see ways made of metaphysical,
        I can’t behave greater than the chemicals
                and vitamins
                       and minerals
                             that constitute my vessel that was cut from an umbilical

I want to make a change
     but I’m plucked inside a place that’s too minimal
             Stuck inside a space that’s too liminal
                    What’s struck upon my face is too clinical
                           and too seminal
                                 for one mortal man to try to do something pivotal

So I tend to be inimical
        decimate all residual
              charity till I implicate every black as a criminal
They squint their eyes
      I reciprocate the equivocal
They bend their lies
      I equivocate the reciprocal
             break apart individuals,
                take a part in the quizzical
                       slaughter of indivisible
                              martyrs while it’s permissible
                                    Chartered through inadmissible
                                          waters in sought of miracles
                                    Fathered through inexplicable
                                          karma when taught of principles

What do I do when the mirror looks at me bright
      but the shards are so reprehensible?
             Desolate in the night where I pray to be somewhat sensible
                   Delicate in the sight of the prey I hunt in untenable
                          fashion until it’s trivial
I am a killer,
       serial or imperial
Red and blue lights flash,
      splashing any material
Lost souls,
Toss odes
      to any euphonious evangelical
             The loneliest,
                   sole numerical,
                                one available
ask him to keep my soul stashed safe in the best receptacle

What’s just when trust is so unbearable?
       Thrust into the must where dust covers our parables

Just because I’m a cop doesn’t mean that I’m someone terrible
       So why do I kill a man in a federal
             uniform when there’s several
                   other ways far more credible

to bring peace to streets
       instead of hate inflated
Little boys suffocated
        left broken and bated
               unspoken and slated
                    to be a hope elevated

Can I harness my legacy or is destiny fated?
Can I tarnish expectancy to demolish my heinous
iniquity, does it stick with me or diminish with patience?
I see bodies deflated, decayed and lobbied adjacent
       to suited police instated, gated, and congratulated
The black is eliminated, grated, and deconsecrated
       so blue can be nominated, mated, and the venerated
I hate it

I hate myself for diluting the definition of peace
So I die a little more each time I step on the street