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son

He, Pronoun

Everywhere I look I see him,
I have a right to fear for him, 

though I have no right to claim his color.
His blackness is his to own and what will

my mouth say of that sweetness.

More Fire

Kwasi woke up somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. What time was it? He looked out the window for a sign of land but there was only blackness and wisps of gray. The boy in the aisle seat who had fallen asleep on his shoulder woke up and looked blankly at him. He looked like he could have been Kwasi’s son. They had the same high cheekbones, the same sleepy, almond-shaped eyes. The boy’s head weighed on him like a great stone, but in the moment, Kwasi felt thankful for it. “It’s okay,” he said. “Go back to sleep.”

Drawing Water

Picture if you will Tony Hoagland
and me, he in his Donkey Gospel
hat and me wearing my Hustle ring,
in his car patched with silver duct
tape and sagging passenger mirrors
discussing vehicles as metaphors

Photo by Alex Potter

The New Berliners

On a chilly April morning in 2016, at a newly converted shelter in southern Berlin, Om Belal struggled as she maneuvered her ten-year-old son, Jad, in his wheelchair out the building’s front door.