The TV blares

I sit still, staring at the frames on the mantel.

Fox news screams at me; calls me a thug.

I choke

My fear reaches for a cigarette.

Filling my lungs with calamity; complacency. Gallons of it.

I am drowning

my lead foot leading me down into heartbreak

and headaches

until my faith catches fire at the strike of a Flint.

I can’t



The TV blares and I listen


I sit still, trying to reclaim my voice.

The TV blares. Louder, still.

Fear screams back from the comfort of my hoodie. My son’s toy gun falls to the floor. It is dead weight like firearms in Black arms and


those arms are reaching north, palms too sweaty to grasp the air needed to make sense of anything.

The TV fell silent as I

Strained to remember the way I loved them before

All I had were still-frames.

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