who killed mcduffie?
(a definitive question)

by Hakim Al-Jamil, Leavenworth
his brain was bashed
cranium crashed
skull fractured/broken
all the way around
but they said those who beat him
didn't kill him
so who killed mcduffie?
maybe it was the same ones
who didn't kill
clifford glover/randy heath/jay parker
claude reese/randy evans/luis baez
auturo reyes/bonita carter/eula love
elizabeth magnum/arthur miller &
countless others
when they musta tripped or
their fingers slipped
maybe it was the same ones
who didn't kill
jose torres/zayd shakur/fred & carl
hampton/jonathan & george/joe dell
twyman myers/spurgeon winters &
a few thousand others
perhaps it was those who didn't kill
lumumba/che'/amilcar/biko/fanon
mondlane/merighella/cordero &
quite a few thousand more
do you suppose it may have been those
who didn't kill
the indians & mexicans
who didn't steal the land &
claim that they discovered it
who didn't steal afrikan peoples
halfway across the planet
who didn't loot our customs/cultures/
religions/languages/labor/& land
who didn't bomb the japanese/
vietnamese/& boriqua too
do you think it might have been those
who didn't kill at attica/watts/dc/
detroit/newark/el barrios
at jackson state, at southern u
at the algiers motel
who didn't shoot mark essex for
16 hours after he was dead
ask them & they’ll tell you
what they didn't do
but they can't tell you
who killed mcduffie
maybe it was one of those
seizures unexplainable where he
beat himself to death
it wouldn't be unusual
our history is full of cases where we
attack nightsticks & flashlights with our heads
choke billyclubs with our throats till we die
jump in front of bullets with our backs
throw ourselves into rivers with
our hands and feet bound
and hang on trees/in prison cells
by magic
so it shouldn't be a mystery that
nobody killed mcduffie
he just died the way so many of us do
of a disease nobody makes a claim to
the police say they didn't do it
the mayor says he didn't do it
the judges say they didn't do it
the gov't says it didn't do it
nixon says he didn't do it
the fbi/cia/military establishment
says they didn't do it
the klan and nazis say they didn't do it
(say they were busy in greensboro and wrightsville)
i know i didn't do it
that don't leave nobody but you
& if you say you didn't do it
we're back to where we started
looking for nobody
who killed mcduffie
you remember nobody don't you
like with de facto segregation
where they said the schools were segregated
but nobody did it on purpose
like when they said there's been
job discrimination for years
but nobody did it intentionally
thats the nobody we're looking for
the one with the motive to kill mcduffie
& you see, we must find this nobody
who slew mcduffie
because the next person nobody will beat,
stomp, hang or shoot to death
won't be mcduffie
it'll be you or someone close to you
so for your own safety,
you should know the pedigree of
who killed mcduffie
you should know the reason of
who killed mcduffie
you should remember all those forgotten
who died of the disease nobody makes a claim to
so we won't be here asking
who killed you.