Listen to Poet Marcus Jackson Read "Shoeless Acrobatics on High Street, 2020"
The poem and photo of the same name are featured in the May 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly, a special issue dedicated to exploring the experiences of Black people in Central Ohio.
From the old killings, the new killings
differ only slightly, and my grace
is the same as my grandmother’s,
a grace originally born on some night
specified by the blue, weighty air,
and by the soil insisting
violence is veiled meagerness.
Certainly, there were landlords,
hungers, nakedness, and taxes
all to be quelled, so I’ve worked among others,
into exhaustion and trepidation,
though I’ve somehow retained the fluidity
bequeathed to me, moving
through the city still struck
with sudden glimpses of dusk
daubing clouds above the high-rises,
the enormous nervous system
of crosswalks and traffic lights,
the memory of dancing as a child, and today
the great want, as if no faulty flip
or no hateful, mistaken man could kill me,
to still be dancing.