IlLOUminated, The Modern Condition

Rest Brown Boy Rest


The car slows down to a stop.

He glances over to his left at the memorial.

Fresh flowers that looked like they were picked from the finest florist in town,

Teddy bears that looked like if they were put in the right child’s arms they could cure cancer


And dried blood in the middle of the street.

There are not people marching in the streets nor are there flames in the distance.

It is quiet yet the city is still in flames.

He makes a face as if his holding back a river of helplessness aft of his eyes.

In that moment I watched as my brother died in front of me.

Physically intact

yet his spirit went asphalt black

like the last time u remember playing freeze tag.

There was no more childish ideas of hope inside of him.

We sat in there alongside the spot where his best friend was murdered.

Where 6 bullets penetrated flesh and made a martyr of him.

Nowadays I don’t know if my brother still remembers how to pray.

So on the nights when I build up the courage to

I’m hoping he can find the will.

Because since that day he has had a bend in his spine.

And doesn’t smile as often forgetting that his voice could turn water to wine….

You see….

I met Mike once.

Dapped up his hand and spoke kind words to his grandmother.

My brother…

My brother was family there.

As close to home as I have ever seen him.

So as we sat in the car with my brother’s heart at his feet I can’t find the words to comfort him.

I come to the conclusion that there aren’t any.

He tells me

“Mike—Mike said he felt like something was coming. Like he was about to be famous for something soon, he just didn’t know what.”

None of us thought it would have been for this.

None of us thought it would have been…

For this.

Rest In Peace Mike Brown

9/6/2015 by Antwoun Stevens (website:

RosewaterSignage copy

September 6, 2015

About Author

Rosewater Rosewater is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Leadership and Management minor at American University. Her passion for education encourages her love of teaching and learning from others. She uses humor and creativity to push back against elitism in higher academia—often infusing pop culture references to make heady concepts more digestible. She advocates for urban youth’s accessibility to political and social justice concepts, with an ultimate goal of fervently improving urban development. She is committed to her dream of founding a national non-profit to expand resource accessibility to low income housing residents. As a writer and graphic illustrator for The Collard, she enjoys weaving ratchet politics and everyday happenings together for the modern millennial’s entertainment and education.

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