2014 ©   Lyz Luidens  ,  "The Human Specimen: Fermaldehyde"

2014 © Lyz Luidens, "The Human Specimen: Fermaldehyde"

The Difference Between Trayvon and Me

//Jordan Harris

see the looks,
the jerks, the stares.
i hear the silent crunch
as fingers clench
wallets, jewelry, purses.
i laugh inside, smile out
and then they smile, relieved
(he’s different
he won’t rape 
or kill
or rob.)
but the fingers
they never loosen,
the jewelry jingles not
and the smiles grow only wider
smiles all the way home
smiles reflected in shiny HD televisions
and bright Ferrari Benzes
smiles at happy children
privileged, jovial, functioning children
smiling parents at smiling children
who smiling tuck them into bed
and kiss them with burning, smiling
and me?
well, I’m still here in the road
my swords sheathed
until another comes
just as scared, just as shaken
and i tear open my mouth
showing that deep nigger grin
and those bright nigger eyes
whispering, begging:
(you don’t have to be afraid
see, see my teeth? my eyes?
i’m not all brown!)
and they like that
they smile at that
smile all the way home
but the fingers
they never loosen

//Jordan Harris is a recent graduate in voice performance from the University of Michigan. He will sing for money.


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