“Psalm 6:6” and “Black Boy Blank” by Jonah Mixon-Webster

Psalm 6:6

and this is how a young boy finds manhood |
at once constructed and crushed | into the body | on his back
drunk cheek to burnt floor | ass wet on fire and lifted toward the sky

of the den | a circling of wax-wood laths | the circle of his face
slopped shut | sodden | rugged scratch of skin | no sheath but slick
not ghost but gone | and one thinks it is better like this | his mind tucked

in the black middle | his mouth muted in the liquid-smoke of his body
so even if or when he comes or wakes| there won’t be such proof of the un/doing
beyond basement party on hush | beyond the hip’s record of bent | beyond nothing ever

happened | not the hand cupped down on his neck | not the half-dirty drawers lobbed
| not the throat snuffed | not the picture of one’s mother on the wall watching | not the mother crying with her son crying | not the young paper flesh ripped | not the bed he’s made to swim in

Black Boy Blank                  

After the Killing of Mike Brown

Caught at point caught back caught metal tooth caught stagger-jawed caught right at point black caught saying “WHADDUP, WHADDUP?!?” catch him on camera caught black handed caught black painted pockets caught black caught caught got called got and got got point blank got called hell-raised or hell-raiser got hell got hail of bullets cocked to cut off kin got him bullied or bulls-eyed got him riddled got him Harlem-shook got his mind now got his body with it got him glowing wet out the back of his head now get him before the fall (red-leaf—dust-jacket) get him just get him get the lights dimmed get your candles out call it all cancelled and say “fuck it, I got him right?” call it right call it just call it justice call it “I just granted you eternity” see black boys still get nothing but time now—get it? How the only thing flying around here is blood

Psalm 6:6 and Black Boy Blank first appeared in print issue 40.2 of Spoon River Poetry Review.