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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