Black Caesar


Hit me wit da fade whisper a tapered song
around my ears box the back stroke a little
off the top I still want waves to swim in
throw the guard on the clippers like Kawhi
Leonard play the 1 or the 2 as a shorty I balled
with Pops at the Y flicked finger rolls
like the baby curls I rocked in high school
I read the newspaper off the bathroom floor
trimmers kissed my sideburns made hair rain
on the Times gave life to the murdered black
kid article the ink blacked out his smile
Pops lifted my head under the dim light
dabbed green alcohol on toilet paper to burn
the edges like when the OG set a $50 bill
on fire as a broke lil shorty on his porch
I watched cuts of money fall from the stars
from Grandpa’s mouth I hear we ruled
kingdoms fought alongside Romans
rocked gold on our heads to show worth
now I think how hairline is currency
when we start to lose it we think we go broke
but no matter how far back my crown
sits dawg still line me up with laurels.

Evan J Massey is an African-American, U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. He is also an MFA Candidate in Fiction at Virginia Tech. His works have appeared in Atticus Review, Adelaide Lit Mag, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and others. He has a Best of the Net nomination for his fiction.

Image Credit: “Alien Siblings” by Maggie Hess
Read by Evan J Massey

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