Kamilah Aisha  Moon

“Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel [. . .] ”
—John Eligon, New York Times

But wasn’t he?

Archangel namesake
who weeks before saw his fate
etched into thick gray clouds.
Satan chasing, he saw himself
running into the face of God,
wings shrapneled
against future flight under
these skies, this moon.

Another one to hit the ground,
leave us reeling before the Rapture
the faithful still believe in.
Coursing the arterial streets
of cities, his ghost leads holy armies
seeking justice with a heartbeat,
some earthbound salvation.

Michael, the spiritual warrior
& the saint, the chosen
& the fallen. Brown
man-child shattered
in a broken promised land.
Junior, the eternal son
of a brutal, perpetual summer.

They would never paint him
prone & sacred
on any chapel’s ceiling—his hands
so dark & sable unlike

God’s & Adam’s hands, though
in the same image &
weaponless. Yet scrawled
underneath August clouds forever
is the scene his mother
& the world can’t erase.

Weeks before, he called his father at 1 a.m.
after his vision, voice trembling.
Dreaming, he tried to remember
if Heaven was anything like this place—
woke up praying that it wouldn’t be
upon his return.

Starshine & Clay

Last updated December 12, 2022