For Tupac Amaru Shakur

who goes there? who is this young man born lonely?
who walks there? who goes toward death
whistling through the water
without his chorus? without his posse? without his song?

it is autumn now
in me autumn grieves
in this carved gold of shifting faces
my eyes confess to the fatigue of living.

i ask: does the morning weep for the dead?
i ask: were the bullets conscious atoms entering his chest?
i ask: did you see the light anointing his life?

the day i heard the sound of your death, my brother
i walked outside in the park
we your mothers wanted to see you safely home.
i remembered the poems in your mother's eyes as she
panther-laced warred against the state;
the day you became dust again
we your mothers held up your face green with laughter
and i saw you a child again outside your mother's womb
picking up the harsh handbook of Black life;
the day you passed into our ancestral rivers,
we your mothers listened for your intoxicating voice:
and i heard you sing of tunes bent back in a
cold curse against black
against black (get back)
against black (get back)

we anoint your life
in this absence
we anoint our tongues
with your magic. your genius.
casual warrior of sound
rebelling against humiliation
i'm going to save these young niggaz
because nobody else want to save them.
nobody ever came to save me . . .

your life is still warm
on my breath, brother Tupac
Amaru Shakur
and each morning as i
pray for our people
navigating around these
earth pornographers
and each morning when
i see the blue tint of
our Blackness in the
morning dawn
i will call out to you again:

where is that young man born lonely?
and the ancestors' voices will reply:
he is home tattooing his skin with
white butterflies.

and the ancestors will say:
his is traveling with the laughter of trees
his reptilian eyes opening between the blue spaces.

and the ancestors will say:
why do you send all the blessed ones home early?
and the ancestors will say:
you people. Black. lost in the memory of silence.
look up at your children
joined at the spine with death and life.
listen to their genius in a season of dry rain.
listen to them chasing life falling
down getting up in this
house of blue mourning birds.

& he says: i ain't mad at ya
& he says: so don't cha be mad at yo self
& he says: me against the world
& he says: all of us against the world
& he says: keep yo head up
& he says: yeah family keep yo head up every day
& he says: dear mama, i love you
& he says: dear all the mamas we love you too
& he says: all eyez on me
& he says: kai fi African (come here African)
all eyez on ya from the beginning of time
from the beginning of time
can you say it? resist. resist. resist.
can you say it? resist. resist. resist.
i say. can you do it? resist. resist. resist.
can you rub it into yo sockets? bones?
can you tattoo it on yo body?
so that you see. feel it strengthening you
as you cough blood before the world.

yeah. that's right. write it on your
forehead so you see yourselves as you walk past tomorrow
on your breasts so when
your babies suckle you, when your man woman
taste you they drink the milk of resistance. hee hee hee
take it inside you so when your lover. friend.
companion. enters you they are covered
with the juices, the sweet
cream of resistance. hee hee hee
make everyone who touches this mother lode
a lover of the idea of resistance.
can you say it? RESIST.
can you say it? RESIST.

til it's inside you and you resist
being an electronic nigger hating yo self & me
til you resist lying & gossiping & stealing &
killing each other on every saturday nite corner
til you resist having a baby cuz you want
something to love young sister. love yo self
til you resist being a shonuff stud fuckin
everything in sight, til you resist raping
yo sister, yo wife, somebody's grandmother.
til you resist recolonizing yo mind
mind mind mind mind
resist for Tupac
resist for you & me
for Brother
Tupac Amaru Shakur

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