From a (Black) neck to a Noose

From the throat of a poet to the neck of a noose.

We’re not so different,
both really good at (w)rapping around Black people,
both got a problem holding on to dead weight,
both get choked up when people pull our strings.

The first time I saw you,
I got jealous,
you were holding someone else.

The second time I saw you,
I got tired of being this close,
you were suffocating,
but I loved it, felt special.

The third time I saw you,
you hugged me like you’d never see me again.

Ironically you were the last thing I saw,
don’t listen to this body,
it will tell you that you are killing it,
but you keep me high.

Don’t listen to the coroner he will say I am dead,
but did you know if the heart beats fast enough it has no pulse?

Tell them I’m just dying to be with you.

My mother always told me I spend too much time dangling.

Said, “not to trust anyone.”

Said, “keep my circle small.”

Told me the wrong crowd is dangerous.

Said, “hanging would be the death of me…”

Darius Simpson is the co-author of Lost Voices, author of Genociderecipient of the 2015 NAACP (Ypsilanti-Willow Run) Prestigious W.E.B. Du Bois Humanitarian Award, an artist and a visionary, has made high marks as an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University since 2011. He is the brainchild behind the Black Student 10-Point Plan, among other campus-based student-led initiatives. Follow Darius on Twitter at @wordplay4days, and send future inquiries to

The Lynching of Lige Daniels. 3 August 1920.