Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: ‘Apex’ a poem by Alicia Harmon

Maybe it’s the way 

the world stops 

when your sirens turn on 

that makes the power 

go to your head.

Or maybe it’s the way 

you know 

those spinning lights 

turn all eyes toward you

that gets you thinking you’re the best thing since bread got sliced.


Or maybe it’s that 

we lauded you when we were young, 

that you were smiling 

on our classroom posters, 

in our dated textbooks. 

A hero on the page.


Maybe the power goes to your head

cause you imagine yourself a legend,

cause you know 

we tell our children 

of your great brutality, 

warn them against you. 

It makes you 

big in the chest 

and you 

get to thinking you're the best thing since chocolate and peanut butter.


Maybe it’s because 

you get to thinking 

we could not survive you. 


I mean, 

survive without you. 

You are there 

in our darkest moments, 

when we call on you

in our desperation

or when you come find us

and bring cracked bones with you.

In these moments, 

you believe you are 

saving someone. 

You believe 

any peaceful neighborhood 

is quiet 

because of you

and you start thinking 

you're the best thing since somebody stumbled over honey.


Officer, sheriff, deputy, 

whatever title you wear as your great crown, 

You been tryna eat up our communities, 

consume our bodies, 

be nourished by our submission.


Well, I hope you’re starting to see 

there’s a reason 

you don’t eat bright-colored things

in the wild. 

And there’s a reason 

you don’t see lambs

eating lions. 

We don’t make good food. 


I hope you’re starting to see

you are not our apex.



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