Back to Issue Thirty-Five

Poem Always Having to Repeat Itself


Gone. Another boy soul-broken.
A headline runs, but does not show the blood

left in its wake, the name my mother will know

by morning. We stop finding crumbs to hold
on to, prayers held in the body’s stillness,

its cold bones settling bruise-blue.

We acquit the cops, their hands, bury their bullets
under our tongues, like our dead.

Their names live on even longer than we do.


Even longer than we do, their names live on.
From under our tongues our dead rise,

bury their bullets in the hands of the cops we acquitted.

Our stomachs unsettle; we bone-cold
at the bruise-blue, still body held in prayer.

Hold on to crumbs we stop finding. My mother

will know the mourning by name, the blood left
in its wake. A headline never shown:
Broken soul, running. Another boy. Gone.


Darnell “DeeSoul” Carson is a Black queer poet, performer, and educator from San Diego, CA, as well as Co-Director of the award-winning Stanford Spoken Word Collective. A two-time CUPSI finalist, his work has been featured or forthcoming on Write About Now and Button Poetry, and in The Adroit Journal, Dishsoap Quarterly, The Oakland Arts Review, and elsewhere. Most recently, he has released his chapbook Running From Streetlights (2020), an examination of Blackness and being in America. He is currently pursuing a degree in Cultural/Social Psychology with a minor in Creative Writing at Stanford University. DeeSoul uses the curation of images and the expansive nature of personal narrative to draw out the universal truths hiding in our everyday experiences. He believes not just in the power of our storms, but also in the joy standing in the middle.

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