Nude Sketch: Tupac

Nose ring rusted
Red Wings jersey faded to a sun-wrecked pink
bandana, once head-tied
(to keep one’s brain from exploding, Foster Wallace said)
now unknotted, hangs limp around your neck
lacking even the noose’s grim dignity.
Twenty years on and the runoff still spills—
all those ripoffs and posthumous
comps, a desert hologram, a Broadway show,
a bad book of poems
Oakland’s own dopeboy toilet paper Cantos
capsuled between graffitied bricks—was this
your rose grown from concrete? Demolished
projects reincarnated as coffee shops, shards
of a reckless era giving way to accolades,
cultural heritage, grudging respect?
In death, your fists—like it or not—unclenched.