While watching
a movie

with a lovely, unyielding,
Well-founded black female

Character, the ten-year-old
Says, Mom, I love

How fierce
Black people are.

He’s read thirty-six graphic
Novels in two days.

(I don’t know how
To parent him.

I only know how
To protect him.)

My intestines gorge red.
Warm. I smile at him. Pretend

I don’t feel this green leaf of relief, a leaf
Because he’s managed somehow

Not to hate himself. Me.
A girl’s neck was slit

Yesterday. Everyday.
We watch her die

On the platform.


HOME PAGE IMAGE: “MARACUS III”, (2014) by Hurvin Anderson, FROM ISSUE NO. 221, Summer 2017.