Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Salvation, or Tupac is Alive in Jersey City, New Zealand

Headlines say: Spotted!

Basketball games, grocery stores,
concerts, protests, even resorts
always pointing out your

bald head and thick eyebrows,
the piercing in your right nostril.
The news story from New Zealand

is fake—a Maori man with a rag tied
around his head to protect himself
from the sun, and the Jersey City grocer

stocking low-fat yogurt in Pathmark
is just a Hispanic look-alike,
more taupe than brown.

Is this what it’s come to?
There could be another album,
your voice full of prophecy,

chopped and screwed, auto-tuned.
But your hands, gesturing while rapping,
whipping your gat about,

are now folding towels, growing cold
from the refrigerator section,
working like everyone else.

There’s that midnight sun. This hope—
that like Lazarus you’d be raised
from the dead—now a listless lullaby.  end  

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