Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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And Should We Thank God
Thanksgiving, 2014

We sit slightly stupefied—
paper plates damp with brisket fat
flowering in the trash. The baby
bouncing on her father’s knee
while he tells us. His wife tells us.
Their baby sleeping while police took aim
at her father. Not at the white man
he finally had pinned to the ground,
that man who had finally materialized solid
after haunting them for weeks,
who shattered their windows,
who made their chests draw tight,
who scrawled the slur first
sometime past midnight—
His wife found it, the slump of “n,”
on the driver’s door,
ending like a wave cresting
on the passenger side. The damp of morning
on black paint. The sun bleeding
into the sky, a crushed marigold,
our table’s burning centerpiece.  

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