Spring 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 2 Poetry |

Crimson

When they found his body today, All forty-seven of his years drowned In a pool he paid for with blood, I thought Of my brother. He has life. And Rodney King's head was cracked open before a live Audience. This is 1991 and the Bad Boys From Detroit are in the Finals again, or will be When June comes around and all around me shatters. They say King had fifty-nine fractures, bones brittle, Brittle after that night when he became Why every young dude I knew screamed "Fuck The Police." We only cursed what could kill us. The day blood washed over the freshest pair of Timbs On a Richmond street; those batons slam dancing On King's head; my father's weary eyes; and The money, all those thousands we spent trying To resurrect a dead man with an appeal, The millions spent making Rodney King rise again. His name, my brother's, is Juvenile, or Juvie—but No longer Christopher. This is what he tells me The men he breaks bread with call him. Or called Him, a dozen years ago, before he, too, becam

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Reginald Dwayne Betts
Reginald Dwayne Betts is the father of two sons, Micah and Miles. He is the author of the poetry collection Bastards of the Reagan Era and the memoir A Question of Freedom. Currently, he is an Emerson Fellow at New America.

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