i watched the slow motion
impact of him with the car.
the thump turned my eyes
from the red and green explosions.
did the fireworks drive him into the street?
i was the one who stood next to
his writhing body, bending over
not knowing what to say or do.
everyone told me to get back.
i told him it would be ok.
i wonder if he heard me.
i wonder if he already knew.
i wonder if he will remember me
in heaven or as a new fig tree.
after they shot her repeatedly and fatally in her own home,
their new chief, wondered aloud,
“what monster must they have seen?”
he saw his grandma.
is the pain different when you can say,
he looks like my cousin
is the pain different when you must say,
he is my cousin
is my saddened bystander pain anything?
will it ever be?
“Miss Mary, today’s gonna be a good day.”
“Yes, it is a good day.”
“The sun feels so good.”
“Yes, it does.”
“Miss Mary- Oh My Lord! I gotta take that with my breath!”
“We’re gonna have to get you something to hide your eyes.”
“It’s just those girls are so pretty.”
“The sun is pretty too.”
“God loves you.”