my feet weren’t quick enough to outrun him
everywhere I turned was a dead end
translation: everywhere I turn
my name was already a prayer in someone’s mouth
my body was already a casket prepped for mourning
I’ve begun to let death condensate my head so often
I witness my own blood pour in my dreams
and in this nightmare
the man carries a blade which reflects the sun
translation: there is a light at the end of each tunnel
even if the tunnel is my own chest
and in this nightmare, i tried to fight back
throw my fist like this be a rally
but he don’t play the game of protest
he ain’t got no patience for murder
i’ve seen his kind before;
Nazi sign tatted on his forehead stating:
            ‘don’t fuck with me
            i’ll curb stomp the shit out of you’
and i know he means it
that his intentions are as bold
as burnt crosses on Sabbath morning

Jamal Parker

Jamal Parker

Jamal Parker is a writer, performer, and teaching artist currently attending Temple University. He's a Two Time International Poetry Slam Champion, having won Brave New Voices (2015) and the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (2016). He majors in African-American Studies with a minor in English. Through poetry, he aims to shift the lens in how society views the black body, with elements of activism, political satire, and escapism influencing his artwork. He serves as the Artistic Director of Babel Poetry Collective, and in 2016 cofounded the Spoken Word Collective Black Boy Fly with fellow PYPM Alum and best friend Jovan McKoy. His written work can be found in The Altar Collective, WusGood Magazine, Teenage Wasteland, and Cunjuh Magazine.
Jamal Parker

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