Illustration by Lidia Altagracia



soldiers in Harlem set the bait

young Black kids reach out their hands to collect


their next greatest weapon

of mass distraction. They want us to lose


sleep, fireworks create punctures

and blood spreads in geometric shapes across the pavement 


like the band aid your pediatrician places on your index

finger after a pinprick. this is normal. their faces 


tell nothing of what they feel 

and see. 


maybe they will vanish 

or maybe they will stop hiding


like calico cats curled around car tires 

for safety in winter. 



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