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Friday, September 13, 2019


by Stewart Shaw

“It’s been two years since a 26-year-old Black gay male died in the West Hollywood home of a 63-year-old white man and 243 days since the second one died. That’s not a typo. Yes, I said the second one. Despite the many young Black men who stepped forward in the wake of the deaths of Gemmel Moore, and later Timothy Dean, with text messages, plane tickets, voicemails, screenshots and videos recounting similar stories about Ed Buck, a Democratic activist and major donor who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment-like fetish which includes shooting meth into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites, no charges have been filed against Buck in either death.” —Jasmyne Cannick, The Advocate, September 11, 2019. “The first pre-trial court hearing will take place on Monday [September 16, 2019] in the wrongful death civil rights lawsuit filed against Ed Buck, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy D.A. Craig Hum in the 2017 meth overdose death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.” —WEHOville, September 10, 2019. WEHOville photo above: Jerome Kitchen, a friend of Gemmel Moore’s, speaking at the rally on Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood in July with Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, at left, and organizer Jasmyne Cannick at right.

for Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean


No one can hear the crying. The white man who plays daddy or god, who wants my awe, my bended knee tribute, his ears that do not pick up the frequencies of such lonely cries, are on backwards, are not attune to blk boy misery.

I can hear the echoes of past supplicants; they walk over my grave. I ask him if he feels the heavy, vibrating air circulating through the room.  His soft-spaced body pitted with an excess of hubris, self-loathing, only detects its own insatiable appetites for worship and dick and ass; a blk body more synecdoche than spirit. He

Does not believe in blk pain, just white pleasures. So, I give this god his want, give him my blk body to fill with poison, give him my neediness, my hopes in exchange for his lust and pieces of silver. I will indulge his fantasy, bow down at the altar of his self-righteousness; swing from his lustful ego. When I die

Bury me in the blue of divinity, let no white sheet adorn my skin. Drop me into the ocean, let the salt cleanse my veins, carry my body away from the hunt.

Stewart Shaw is a poetry and fiction writer and the author of the chapbook The House of Men from Glass Lyre Press. His poems have been published in African American Review, Temenos Literary Journal, Serendipity and others, as well as short stories in Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing and African Voices. He is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow.