They Always Come (A Note to My Son)

by    /  April 22, 2021  / Comments Off on They Always Come (A Note to My Son)

For Ahmaud Arbery, Breyonna Taylor and those Suffering in Covid 19,
Past, Present and Future Who Have Fallen Victim to the “It” and “They”

by “I Medina” Jackson


How do I prepare you for apocalypse?
How do I prepare you for the inconspicuous, loud, cyclical doom of White
supremacy’s tentacles
How do I prepare my nervous system for what seems like the inevitable,
inescapable trauma
Will I lose him some day?
Somewhere, somehow?


They always come
The wonder-less to the wanderers
To the free people
To those who are spacious
To those who hold themselves
To those shaped by expansive sky and ocean and dirt

It always comes
In a liberated moment
Parasitic travelers leaving bones and dust in the wake of dawn, and move on

I just want to keep you safe in a place that is trying to kill you a little bit every day
Or by bullets exploding from guns
Or by the relief of a needle from these troubles

It always comes
To steal the light from your eyes
But see
It suffocates them
They can’t hold it

I just want to shield you with my open heart
The sinking of your muscles
Relaxed breath in my arms forever

It always comes
Ushering the terrifying unknown
Baiting us with bribes, trades, and fear of something worse
Ready to reclaim
An Earth they do not own

They always come
To dry up all the water
Set fire to the soil
Pollute the air with poisoned breath

They come in the night
They come in the day
They always come

Can I hold you one more time?
One more kiss on your forehead?
Soothing hands through lion locs
Can I keep you in my sight?
Can you stay with me while you spread your wings and sing your sweet shower

They always fucking come
Driving sticks into sacred ground
Walking woundedness and death
Teeth stained with someone else’s blood
When we are simply

They do not know
What true life, love and liberation is
So they consume it with impunity
And are never full


“I Medina” Jackson is a poet, spoken word and Hip Hop artist, writer, mama, community educator, vegan culinary arts enthusiast and a 2017 Pittsburgh 40 Under 40 honoree. She is a member of the facilitation team for the Black Transformative Arts Network (BTAN), an equity consultant for Shifting Power in Educational Research and Development, and a recent participant in the Poetry Partnership of Pittsburgh’s Spring Workshop Series. I Medina is also the Director of Engagement for The P.R.I.D.E. Program (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education), an initiative out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Office of Child Development, where she organizes annual Pop Up Mini Art Festivals in multiple Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Originally from South Berkeley, CA, I Medina moved to Pittsburgh in 2001 to obtain her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and has been committed to this city ever since. A poet since age 17, she is proud to have been published for the first time in the book TENDER a literary anthology and book of spells: evidence and is currently working on her second album Minimalist Mob Music. Find I Medina on Facebook.


City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from RAD (Allegheny Regional Asset District).

Comments are closed.