2013 Nov. 11: Nocturne: Beheaded

...for Thapelo Makutle


All throat now…..already brighter than the stars.

I could hold you in my song. Sotto voce, tremble

against me: a breeze slips in, cools my blood

to garnet…..bed stained with stones, cold and finally

useless………..I Orpheo,…..I lyre. Down river, even damned

with hum, there is room for your cry in my mouth……Sweet,

sweet sotto voce, I sang your moan until…..the machete

swung…..then I kept singing. I eyeless,…..I eternal.

The guards hold blades to the sky and cut the dark open.

Do you hear me raining……….from the wound? My tongue

is a kingdom……You live there.

—Saeed Jones


About the author

Saeed Jones is the author of the chapbook When the Only Light is Fire (2011, Sibling Rivalry Press) and poetry collection Prelude To Bruise (Forthcoming 2014, Coffee House Press.)
His work has appeared in Best Gay Stories 2013, Guernica, Ebony Magazine, The Rumpus, Hayden’s Ferry Review and West Branch among other publications. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer / Arts / Mentors.
He is the editor of BuzzFeed LGBT and lives in New York City.



Related links

Gentle man’s brutal murder turns spotlight on intolerance

Thapelo’s service


Thapelo’s funeral




This entry was posted in Allies, Anger, Another Approach Is Possible, Archived memories, As we are, Black Queer & Gifted, Body, Creating awareness, Queer poetics, Textualizing Our Own Lives, Together we can, We Are You, We Care, We were (t)here and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s