Run: 2nd Street Harrisburg PA Summertime ‘17

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

Bullshit     watch your sister   be arrested

for daring   to dance     her jay-stunting

across the street   be next   to her but say

nothing     because this ain’t     Footloose

and you will   always be     a coward

instead just be     thankful   for the iphones

filming   for women   with stronger

forearms   for men   with bigger

voices   think instead about     your next

drink     don’t be   thinking

about     every other   time

you were     not   brave

don’t be   thinking   I am a teacher

sometimes   I even smile   at cops

I can win   this one over   with kind reason

he is bald   white   short

his uniform   has come   untucked

be close   enough   to see cliché

sweat   on his upper lip   be brave

be brave   you think    about anything but

boot scrape   baton clatter   police-grade

mace   your own knee’s   crunch

against storefront   signpost   stumbling away

I could be   blind   what if I am

blind   forever   you think

why am I   mouthing   Excuse me Sir?


Ben Kingsley is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Mahatma Gandhi. A touch less famous, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley has not acted since his third-grade debut as the undertaker in Music Man. A Kundiman and UPenn alumni, Ben is currently the 22nd Tickner Writing Fellow and recipient of a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center fellowship as well as scholarships from Tin House, Sewanee & VONA. He belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. In 2017, his work can be found in the Iowa Review, NarrativeNinth LetterPANKPEN America, the Poetry Review, & Prairie Schooner, among others.