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Marcellus Nealy
From Where We Find Our Way
-–dedicated to George Floyd (1970 – 2020)

come see where I find myself gasping to breathe
held down by 200 pounds
of insanity and fear

harbored over centuries
doled out with impunity
night sticks bludgeoning in broad daylight

back talk being my capital offense

see me wheezing in slow motion

see me breathing in slow motion

counting down to the void

counting back to the void

one minnesota two minnesota

three minnesota four minnesota

I tried to invoke my mother
so I could teleport myself to her

teleport myself to safety,
to home cooked meals
to arms that have the power to

cut through the brutality
of a minneapolis winter


see me bound and prone

facedown in gravel and dog piss

prostrate and defenseless
dying there before your eyes

under the austere snarl
of that purposeful act
unable to get back
to get back
to the light

one minnesota two minnesota

three minnesota four minnesota

8 minutes and 46 seconds

526 minnesotas

my soul released
mortal coil to becoming breezes
the breezes that fan the shifting tide

the breezes that bind hand to hand

the breezes that countermand the sin

of america’s denial

see me being washed
by the tears of the world
as it weeps a river to carry me

across knolls and valleys

through woodlands and desserts

ancient as the mountains
deeper than the silence
that sparked the noise
of all this discontent

one minnesota two minnesota

three minnesota four minnesota

see me in the chorus rising
rising across cities and continents

above the backlash of derision
to where the stars wait
in woeful anticipation of humanity’s

return to its own divine state

through the veil of darkness

I hear you

through interdimensional gates

I hear you

between linear and nonlinear time

I hear you

in many languages
loud above the khaki cries

I hear you

universal soldiers

marching to replace this hate

with love

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