For Oscar Grant

Your kerosene lung ignited is not

fable or fodder, is not sewage siphoned

from stern and starboard.

Those cuffs are not slapdash plums

plummeting cracked branches

whenever summer divorces

your garden. They are crows

auditing your liver at each fiscal

cycle. A round table

of tasers huddling around

your Broadway marquee smirk

 are not a gaggle of midwives

or gratuitous gifts from the mayor.

You are not a plaque

in a rusting library, an anthem

played during the encore,

because the gated townhouse

commune merchants fear

you will appear

at the fence with a pair

of hedge clippers


and an empty rucksack.

Your kerosene lungs emulate

novas. Those cuffs are surreptitiously

soldered to your wrists, the tasers

are poised because the cloaked

real estate moguls fear you will

not rattled the cage, that you will

remain calm and slyly converse

your way into the walls

of their clogged aortas, that

you will want back what

they have siphoned with ciphers

of mortgages, or much worse,  

that you will let them

keep the spoiled spoils,

because you no longer needed

them anyway, because you

have uncovered for yourself

a new nebula and they will

not be sent a personalized invitation 

to join you aboard the grand mother ship.