Incident

He came back and shot. He shot him. When he came   
back, he shot, and he fell, stumbling, past the   
shadow wood, down, shot, dying, dead, to full halt.

At the bottom, bleeding, shot dead. He died then, there   
after the fall, the speeding bullet, tore his face   
and blood sprayed fine over the killer and the grey light.

Pictures of the dead man, are everywhere. And his spirit   
sucks up the light. But he died in darkness darker than   
his soul and everything tumbled blindly with him dying

down the stairs.   

We have no word

on the killer, except he came back, from somewhere   
to do what he did. And shot only once into his victim's
stare, and left him quickly when the blood ran out. We know

the killer was skillful, quick, and silent, and that the victim   
probably knew him. Other than that, aside from the caked sourness   
of the dead man's expression, and the cool surprise in the fixture

of his hands and fingers, we know nothing.

Amiri Baraka, “Incident” from Black Magic (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1969). Copyright © 1969 by Amiri Baraka. Reprinted with the permission of Sll/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Source: Black Magic (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969)
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