By Amber Butts Grandmother. The alchemist. You spun gold out of this hard life. Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the…
“a setting adorned with the souls of children and babes disguised as men with unheld hands, course over brass buttons,
stinking of cigarettes and reefer -“
Surely, no child should have to pay an additional cost–to the carceral state–for having the audacity to refuse to be murdered.
“I was a bloody, plastic, mess
they whispered tragedy over me,
but I was the closest thing
to God they’d ever seen –
my halo was fresh
woke up from death.”
When you turned your back
I saw the scars of your fears,
urgency in denial….
I think you felt
refusing to understand
was the same as holding on.”
The saints tried to move the Earth itself in an attempt to save this boy from himself. Jamal sat in the middle of this circle of twisted divine intervention and waited. He waited for the shouting and the praying and the beseeching to end. He waited for the olive oil to stop dripping down his forehead, for the backs of those saints to straighten. He waited for his father’s wrath to subside, for the belt to take its last swing. He waited for silence.