Beloved by Joshua Aiken

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

oh him?  seven pounds, three ounces.  he baby.  born black.  boy born.  bring black boy home.  read all about him.  
                                                                                     BLACK BOY BLACK BOYS BODIES BORN
                                                                                     AS CRIME CRIME-BODIED BABIES
                                                                                     what’d this one do?  
die.  he died-born.  born to die.  dead at birth.  crack not coke at birth.  thug not rebel at birth.  black and white and red all over.  broken.  he broken when he born bloodied.  bruised.  bludgeoned.  black boy body.  he reads like birth certificate reads like autopsy.  read all about him.
                                                                                     BUT BLACK BOY CRIME BLACK BOY
—black boys get stole.  black boys sink in standing ground.  black boys born buried.  buried.  buried.  beautiful black boys born sunk [cost] deep.  bring black boy home.  oh him?  seven pounds, three ounces.  body bag born.

Joshua Aiken is a poet, playwright, and organizer from St. Louis, Missouri. He is an alumni of WU-SLam, Washington University in St. Louis’ performance poetry team.  He has published poetry in Spires and The Undergrad Review, and published three short plays. Joshua is currently studying for his Masters in History and acclimating to torrential downpours at the University of Oxford. He believes in expanding the landscape of the human heart.