It’s Important I Remember That the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Is the Second Amendment—
not the first. The first enshrined freedom
of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; freedom
to peaceably assemble; the right to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.
Ergo, in theory, the firearm comes behind the reason to use it,
being necessary to security of a free
State. Security is the justification some, State
or citizen, provide when there is no longer another person
alive to argue otherwise, therefore the firearm comes before a sound
reason to use it, which is unconstitutional in a spiritual sense.
It doesn’t take a judge or jury to resolve all this;
it takes a just god.
Just God is all some of us say we have left to believe in,
and even that’s slipping
with each silver bullet sliding into chamber
that refuses to retire there, that gets paid leave after it leaves
the barrel and leaves a wake in its wake. Grief—
a word of the same linguistic root as
In red: the petals of flowers, a husk undressed
of all pronouns save for it.
It’s Important I Remember That the Final Scene in Django Unchained Is the Destruction of Candyland—
cathartic, if I can say that
about the letting of so much blood.
I cackled. I clapped. I consumed the ice-cold
Coca-Cola while Django exacted sweet vengeance
wearing round shades and a purple jacket like Prince—
well, burgundy—firing off his trusty six-shooter,
slotting a bullet for every letter in nigger,
the loudest word in the film if not the most used,
as much the writer’s fetish creeping into the script
as it was a signifier of the time period
and also, I think, thematically appropriate
seeing as one white man put that word in
another white man’s mouth to begin with so long ago.
That’s how we’ve gotten to this point in the story:
2013, nearly a year since Trayvon wasn’t here anymore.
At times it feels that all we’re doing is living
through somebody else’s motion picture, that we’re
narrative sacrifices for some convoluted redemption arc,
so it’s hard not to relish the rare scene you actually want
to act out, busting caps in all their racist assess,
blowing up the big house with sticks of dynamite
and riding out on horseback with Kerry Washington,
the only problem being you still had to play a slave
to get there. But, in the end, that’s nothing new:
that’s just history.