“Years have passed and so soon we love the world, so soon we are willing to coexist with dust in our eyes.”
-from CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC, Claudia Rankine.

How ironic the governor’s name is Nixon.
1972. Redlining. Planned Shrinkage.

Edit: Too heavyhanded.

I finished CITIZEN by Claudia Rankine just as they are ready to announce
the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri.

The dust in my eyes is the ash of a poet
at the bottom of the Bronx River.

Let’s all discuss race calmly.
There are no books about Puerto Rican colonial black bodies
dying in prison of radiation burns.

This is not the time
for the language of alienation.

All White Writers
White Writers All
White All Writers
Writers White All
All Write Whiter
Whiter Write All

Edit: We have seen this trick before.

The National Guard to secure important buildings.

One editor’s anger is another writer’s ancestral memory.
In Spanish. This is not the time
to make sweeping generalizations.

New Orleans
East New York
Santa Clara

Edit: Your readers will not know what a Santa Clara is.

Nixon wants all sides to show tolerance and restraint.

The fine for placing human remains
in public waterways
is one hundred dollars.
Potter’s Field is free.

Officer Wilson in talks to resign his post.

They won’t say the word Brown
in the middle of the news coverage.

Say! What’s the word from Black Twitter?

National Guard securing the Prosecutor’s Office.

Should the gas fly again, the lawyers—THANK JESUS—the lawyers
will be safe.

Edit: Opinion. Where’s the evidence of white rage here?

Is the Tallahatchie River a public waterway?
Has anyone paid that fine yet?

All Black Bodies
Bodies All Black
Black All Bodies
Black Bodies All
Body All Blacks
All Body Blacks
Black Lives

Why pigeonhole your poetics by telling your audience how you learned about love at a bodega?
What is a bodega?
Ask Taylor Swift.

I am tired of performing my father’s masculinity.

The air gun looked like a firearm in the hands of a child.

Edit: Heavyhanded reference to Neruda.
Edit: Neruda was a Stalinist.
Edit: Fuck, did I say that out loud?
Edit: The line is fine.

See the U.S. Navy’s drone-killing laser.

Plea deal in Florida’s stand your ground law.

Let’s all discuss race calmly.

My brother is at the bottom of a river.
My brother is in an expensive cemetery.
Dust settles back into the earth’s body.
Burnt, brown, body.

The one I let go, daily.

From a place of love.