“The crown ain’t worth much if the nigga wearin’ it always gettin’ his shit took”
— Marlo Stanfield
And I say now what I have always known:
a king is only named such after the blood of anyone who is not them pools at their feet and grows to be a child’s height before running down a hill, flecking the grass of a village crowded with quivering mothers and their boys, huddled underneath a new and undone black sky. There is not a way to rule without the knowing of where your family will get its next meal — rather, who it will be taken from, or who will become it. The dead, we know, do not hunger for anything but stillness. Perhaps their name sung around a fire by those still living, their gold worn atop the head of the man who made a widow of their lover.