Crips & Bloods
Amaud Jamaul Johnson
On occasion, an incident, although the boys
always peppered the raw meat, and knotted
And they marched them chained around
the block, stumbling as if locked in some
distended and unbroken descent. Of course,
you would come across one lowing beneath
a shade tree, too weak to turn its huge head;
unearthly thing, more muscle, more a fluid
bone, an organ composed of mouth, of torso,
impervious to pity, even with the gadflies
lacing and unlacing its wounds. And every
other year, the toddler who lives without fear
who dies gulping the terrible rose-soaked air.
Amaud Jamaul Johnson is the author of Darktown Follies (Tupelo Press 2013) and Red Summer (2006). A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.