Corey

By MIK AWAKE


Became a skinhead
a year after he moved from
Bumblefucktucky.
Hit me with his cast.
Hurt people hurt people
often with their hurt parts.
Who broke his arm?
His step-dad step on him?
They was poor, but they was white.
A black eye was the only
color he brought to art class.
Who put him at my table?
Who sicced him on me?
Did you say black guy?
Nah, said nigger, nigger.
You know how kids kid.
Basketball in the gym.
They sicced him on me.
Cut my lip with that bum wing,
and smirked, but I kept
going. Still going. Cuz
who ain’t got a Daddy?
Corey got brolic, then fat,
puffy, sad, beery.
Probably couldn’t spell
graduation, dropped off
the earth’s face, like how daylight
does in winter, so early
and leaving night so black.
For no reason, for sport, for season.
Lived in rumors of racist assault
that tickled the rich kids:
A sasquatch, a legend, a spook.

 

MIK AWAKE’s work has appeared in The Awl, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Callaloo, Witness, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. He teaches writing in the City University of New York system and lives in Brooklyn.

 

[Purchase Issue 14 here.]

Corey

Related Posts

Major Jackson headshot

Amplifying Black Voices on TC Online II

This is the second installment of an online series highlighting work by Black authors published in The Common. To read  The Common’s statement in support of the nationwide protests against anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and police brutality, click here.  

july 2020 poetry feature

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Steven Leyva and Elizabeth Scanlon

STEVEN LEYVA
Get down to the smallest birthright / I cannot claim: say beignets / and doesn’t the stutter of hot oil start / to sizzle the small plates of memory? / Faces powdered with sugar, no thought / to whose ancestors cut which cane, sing / a hymn of “mmm, mmm, mmm.”

Illustration of dolphin

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Loren Goodman

LOREN GOODMAN
In these last hours / Of the Passover Seder / It is said by the higher / Chasidic Scholars that time / Loses its essence and that / We are at least once, with / The help of memory (at this / Time “even the future can be / Remembered”) able to defeat / It. Something to do / With the wine.