the still of the night was split
by the sound of a gun
spilling its violence
into the darkness
the lightning and thunder
followed by a rainstorm
on the sidewalk
was it a traffic stop gone wrong?
was it revenge for a broken heart?
was it the demarcation of territorial lines?
was it toxic masculinity exerting its existence,
saying “i’m here, i matter, i’m angry, i’m sad”
in the only words it thinks it has?
it was big men with guns
pouring out their entitlement
in pellets of cold steel
and when a mother holds their lifeless child
the whys and whos blur into numbness
but cancer will not heal itself
— Clio 04.12.21