Attica – Michigan Quarterly Review
Photograph of Attica Protest


Listen to the poem, read by the author.


Were it not for his silver hair,
    the well-thought-out words/
          “kill more of em”

the question of who made em growing deeper
in a mind tethered to machinery, a mind invested
in white as human, more than em could ever be.

      Were it not
for the heaviness of this coronavirus pandemic now,
I would not write this. In the morning I would smile
again, put up love again,
                a fence...

against memory.

The morning light split Baltimore harbor,
         in the window where the sun saw me,
spun itself one one-hundredth
of a degree in space
         only it and I knew.

      As on the way to work,
at the 7-Eleven, I smiled again, suspicious
of suspicion, a brunette cashier as old as old
can be when hate ages, stares at me as I pay
          for my coffee
          for my pastry
          for my news in the Sun
          for my pack of Kools
          for my cinnamon bun

on the way to work
where Attica melted,

as a head of silver hair
wished we all would die.

“Attica” appears in MQR‘s Fall 2020 Issue on Persecution. You can purchase a copy here.


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