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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: 'IndyStar,' a poem by Adrianne Embry

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An Indianapolis Man Died As A Result of Gunshot 

Wounds Tonight On the Far East Side...

 

My nephew and I had been speaking of sacrifices and the forms that they come in. 

We would lay motionless and muted next to one another. We would share a conversation with 

labored     breath 

in place of our tongues that shared the same blood…

We both wanted to say “I love you” but that is a sacrifice

in itself. I am all sheepskin and bloodshed. 

I know loving brown bodies comes as a sacrifice.

So I asked my nephew what he wanted his funeral to be like. Of course he didn’t answer. 

So instead I told him about mine. I told him Aunt Vicky can’t sing under any circumstance.

I told him even through death he cannot have the aux. I told him my obituary must be a 

hologram with me in two different poses. He laughed.

I asked him again. Of course he didn’t answer. So I persisted then he receded into a puddle of blood in front of me. 

Poof. Gone. 

Just like that. I know. I know. I know that loving brown bodies comes as a sacrifice. 

How dare I get my hopes up? How dare our home swallow our bodies? 

How dare it spit us out? Where we from the average age for homicide victims is 21.

They young. Poof.     They dying. Poof.     They disappear. Poof. 

The bodies in our city do not have names. They cannot afford to or there would be no bodies. 

I cannot afford to give the name of my nephew in this poem or eulogy or forecast. 

I will not whisper his name into the asphalt. Instead I will whisper my own. Give my 

body to the thirsty white throats instead. What is more sacrificial than something bleeding, 

black, and woman? Let me be a worthy sacrifice. This is not to say that I do not want to live. There is just not enough sage or magick in my city to wish the death out so I give my body instead. I wish my body into a bargain. A trade for my kin.

I told you, loving brown bodies comes as a sacrifice. 

I wish my body into that sacrifice. 

A brown body is always the sacrifice. 

My nephew and I smoke a wood for our homie

who was just murdered. Poof. I disappear.

Brown bodies begin to bloom.

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Uplifting Black stories, perspectives and art from IU and Bloomington. Reach out at blackvoices@idsnews.com.

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