Beloved by Joshua Aiken

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy in


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
                                                                              STEAL
— 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 Allen Aiken is a poet, playwright, and activist from St. Louis, Missouri.  He is an alumnus of WU-Slam, Washington University in St. Louis’ performance poetry team.  His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Spires, Cactus Heart, and The Undergrad Review.  He is currently studying for his Masters in History and acclimating to torrential rain at the University of Oxford.