In Remembrance of Breonna Taylor

The ancestor of triggers started off as thick and hollow grass, bamboo
chopped down and sculpted into a tiny cannon which, if fed gunpowder
functions much like its descendants.

Gunpowder, started off as experimental fire medicine, possibly an elixir
for life: sulfur, saltpeter, arsenic, honey—to make the hardiness of any aimed projectile dance
furious/violently/fly. These ancient books of kinship that never set out to find you, the bullet that claimed your name, bullets that pierced through pots and pans, apartment walls and ceiling
sliding glass door, windows with the blinds drawn shut, bullets everywhere

there are pictures

that circulate like spontaneous wildfires, everywhere the police fired a weapon canonizing imperial impetus to capture with canon these violent voids, descendants of handheld cannons
keep making of Black women. You were an emergency room technician

this means you knew medicine
in times of crisis. In times of extreme pain
you prepared IV’s, their slender stems
like even smaller cannons, firing away—

I can’t go further than that, cannibalizing what your life was, without also noticing my own mind
participating alongside each handheld weapon, all over again.                    You should be alive.

Sagirah Shahid is a Black American Muslim Poet and arts educator from Minneapolis, MN. Her poetry and prose are published in Mizna, Paper Darts, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere.

Posted in: Poetry