Black bodies seep through our T.V. screens and into the living room.We don’t notice at first.
We’re outside, watching the heat from the Barbeque quiver.
But the gunfire from the screen drifts to the patio,
over the Azalea’s—a fleshy pink like my sister’s cheeks after too much Sangria—
and lingers by my mother.
“Turn that crap off.”
But the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.
“How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?”
We don’t think about it.
But there is a man who does.
He’s a father,
the kind who feels like rusty button downs and lose jowls—maybe a couple smile lines—
But he leaves his son,
and he leaves his wife,
and he leaves his Barbeque
to aid the forgotten ones
to save bodies nobody cares about –
disposable and black, like the clip on earrings Grandma wore to Grandpa’s funeral twelve years ago.
And he wraps a string around his heart
and seeps it in their pain
drinks atrocity like tea
and fills up on rage.
“WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE
HOW COULD YOU LOOK AWAY”
He’s seen crimson swallow streets
and war swallow bodies
and machetes take ladies for lovers.
He’s a doctor,
the kind who reeks of impartial and feigned condolences—maybe a stern handshake—
But when he saw designs carved into her body and cum slathered on her face
He felt something,
Perhaps despair, but not so deep he could crumble.
He never once lowered his chin,
but had to repeat, let the phrase squirm under his skin:
“I’m a human.
I’m a human.
I’m a human”
So he convinces himself he can turn rage into productivity
so he rages into the next mission and speaks out on the T.V. screen
the camera zooms close to his face,
But we don’t see him,
despite his ivory skin,
and we’re not listening.
There’s nothing but the clink of Pellegrino and polite laughter.
If we did slip away from the patio to turn on our eyes,
our lips would quiver like the heat from the Barbeque
“What could drive a mad man to reality?”
What could drive a madman to reality?