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Have I spent too much time worrying about the boys

killing each other to pray for the ones who do it

with their own hands?


Is that not black on black violence?

Is that not a mother who has to bury her boy?


Is it not the same play?

The same plot & characters?


           The curtain rises, then:


                         a womb

                         a boy

                         a night emptied of music

                         a trigger

                         a finger

                         a bullet


           then:


                         lights.


It always drives the crowd to their feet.


An encore

of boy after boy

after sweet boy         — their endless, bloody bow.


They throw dirt on the actors like roses

until the boys are drowned by the earth


& the audience doesn’t remember

what they’re standing for.


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