I. Your head only weighed two pounds when you died.
I knew it was because your soul was weighed down by
the burdens of a nation.
My head weighs twenty-four pounds.
II. Sleep never came easy for you, every night you would
wake and stumble into the hallway bathroom. The light
flooded under the crack of our bedroom door, wooden,
dark, it couldn’t keep out the amount of sorrow
that clung to the air that floated around your body. You would stare
in the mirror, tears rolling down your cracked and painted skin,
looking directly into your eyes, of the eyes of your people.
Their projected fears taking solace in the murky colors of
I laid awake in bed every night staring at the stark whiteness of our ceiling, praying for the souls of those you had lost and that your soul wouldn’t be the next casualty.
III. I never could imitate the passion that you felt deep in
your bones. You skeleton rubbed together, hard and calloused.
Skin clinging to it, like small children clinging to the legs
of their fathers. It creased, strung tight over your
calcium drenched appendages. Every bone in your body
was held down by the deafening screams of children and mothers
their hopeful yet mangled words shattering your skin and
wiggling their way into your limbs.
They loved you, but not enough to see the man that I saw.
IV. Your words float aimlessly through my head, wrapping themselves
around my waist, pulling me close, the warmth of your thoughts
grabs onto my heart and sends shivers down my spine.
I’ve tried a million and three times to bottle up this feeling.
V. It was a Thursday. The evening had just begun to settle into
the sky, pink and purple hues were being painted by
God, and you were staying in a hotel. The siding of your room held
onto a balcony, you stepped onto it, looking in the sky, then down
into the faces of the people who loved you.
All but one.
Leaning down the shot rang, the sound echoing off the walls
of the hotel, muffled by the cries of your followers. One
lone tear raced down your left cheek as the sting from the bullet
radiated through your body. You fell, eyes void, the promises
you had made to millions slipping from your irises in the form
of salty tears rolling down your face, pooling in the creases
of your skin.
Your tears fell simultaneously with mine, our souls forever intertwined.
VI. The bullet was a white man’s bullet and just
like the white man it infiltrated your body, claiming
your rights, making you weak. It hit your face, tarnishing
the look of satisfaction plastered on your face. But it didn’t stop.
Traveling it hit your jaw, neck, spine, finally it lost its momentum
in the tangled muscle in your shoulder. That muscle resembled
your life ambition. The white man stopped you.
My thoughts lie with your soul buried six feet under the cold dirt.
VII. My head weighs twenty-four pounds yours weighed only two.
I wish that my bones were as heavy as yours I want to carry
the burdens of those whom you left. As your thoughts
swirl around in my head, my lips move to say the right words
and my muscles twitch with the idea of continuing your work.
I promise that together we will see the end.
The Death of Martin Luther King Jr.