I have seen the place where he lay.
I have walked through his neighborhood
with broken lights, dark windows, delapidated liquor stores
I have seen the children playing basketball in the street
yards from where he lay.
I’ve talked with some of his neighbors
exchanging a “evening, how are ya?” and waving gently.
What is normal anymore?
Can you see the riot gear left behind?
The armored tanks in the street by the McDonald’s
that used to pour fire?
Can you hear them crying?
The mothers who wonder if their sons and daughters will come home
–from the corner store, from the birthday party, from school–
only to find their children sleeping in their beds,
but there isn’t safe either.
Do you see the words scrawled in anxious angry spray paint?
“RIP Mike Brown
“Fuck the police”
The holy quiet descended on the dark street
damp with rain and tears
we couldn’t even hear the marchers anymore.
The place where he lay is hallowed ground
let’s erect an Ebenezer
it’s already been done
fluffy teddy bears
handwritten notes laminated to keep from getting washed away
traffic cones perhaps cover
the bloodstains now sunk into the earth, into the depths of creation
the creation is groaning
waiting to be released from this horror of
separation destruction desecration
of sacred dust.
Where do we go now?
Minutes at the memorial
a young man on a low riding bike rides past twice.
My feet are cramping from marching
My clothes are damp with sweat and rain
but not with (never with)
These experiences are distant from me,
how do we proceed, seeing what we’ve seen?
how do we move forward, carrying what has been loaded onto our backs?
how do we continue to believe that another world is possible?
Save yourselves by saving each other.