originally published in Sledgehammer Lit
we don’t know them before they rage
you think love identifies, or generosity, or
even the quality of sobs & tears when grief
rage reveals the soul, concealed by
manners & convention, what we call social graces
abandoned for the machine gun &
even though the bearers smile
they seethe with hatred
the bitterness of their disenfranchisement
the loss of what . . . exactly?
free use of the n-word?
permission to slap their wives & children?
once men fought to lift people, not
to oppress them
but times have changed, or perhaps not
changed at all
ghosts of slave-owners & lynch mobs
occupy the living
think about it
soon you’ll feel rage, too