07/23/2013 11:28 am ET Updated Sep 22, 2013

Song of the Martyrs: America's #1 With a Bullet


His Song...

We can't see him anymore, but we can hear his song.

He is not here anymore; he was reckless eyeballing, he was an a$$hole who always got away (but not that night!), he was reaching for his wallet, he was kneed in the face and shot in the back in a subway station (and he wasn't even resisting arrest).

He goes by many names; Emmett. Trayvon. Amadou. Oscar, to name a few.

There are more names.

Many more names.

His song is #1 with a bullet in America. It plays on repeat in the usTunes of the American soul.

Look close: he is wearing a hoodie, he is darker than me, he is young and strong. I don't know him, but he looks suspicious. He is darker than me, and yeah, I know his kind.

Listen closer: his song plays on the lower frequencies of our collective unconscious; white noise filtered in the black light of colorless distortion. His song is loud. America has lowered the volume. But his song plays even louder. His song sounds dangerous because the lyrics are true. His song has rhythm. His song rhymes. America dances to it, without ever knowing the reason.

His song is the push-button of an explosive device marked N.I.G.G.E.R; a device detonated in the southern bonfires of Dixie-Land discontent, and feted at the Hotel Meurice in Paris. His song is the Ball-So-Hard-Boom-Bap of shrapnel from that explosive device; shrapnel soaked in the ghostly fluids of America's molten pain, wrought in the cast-iron template of grief.

His song plays in the ears of an American president who looks just like him. An American president who faced the nation on 19 July 2013, and recounted how his song could have been the same song, too.

His song is the song many people don't want to discuss (because some of U.S. believe that the historic election of the First African-American Commander-In-Chief, absolves U.S. from discussing his song from this time forth, and even, forever more).

His song is bereft of fear and loathing, yet bequeathed with anxiety and contempt.

His song is trapped in an alabaster box, filled with the pungent ink of night.

His song is the song of the martyrs, and it plays on repeat as we refuse to awake from sleep.

We are snoring; his song continues to ring in our ears...

(Dedicated to my Dad; who taught my brother and I the song of the martyrs; a long, long, time ago. GOD Rest his soul.)