hobart logo
I didn't mean to write this poem; I am just trying to land more gently photo

.           I don’t have much to give. Not the kind
                       to hand hold, though I have been lovingly
                       held. At the intersection of a Cairo street, a boy
                       dies. He is four. I asked my little
                       cousin who did it and he said, we
                       all did it. As in: complicitness
                       is its own violence. Remember? It was a hit
                       and run; they found the small
                       body in the street. Bruised lip
                       rising from the earth. The parents
                       couldn’t afford a funeral
                       so we gave them the allowance
                       we usually take to the deli. A dead
                       boy is just a boy until we
                       make him all of us. After that we
                       no longer sneak cubes
                       of sugar in our mouths. We
                       don’t write cute poetry about sunsets. We
                       make porn out of death and some nights are
                       exactly what nights are:
                       stains. The boy is just a boy until
                       he is a street name. From afar he looks
                       part of the earth and the earth
                       is just a loose tooth. I apologize,
                       because I stand on the balcony hovering above
                       like a coward. I’m coming
                       down. I’m only
                       a boy. Now
                       I am a traffic light.