He wears the world
like a torn coat
how the sleeves
ride to the elbow
how tight the shoulders
feel when he moves too
much. He dreams of when
a 42 long, fit comfortably and
tattered things were something told that
didn’t seem like lies, this world,
a swallow of dry leaves.
He dreams of the day when
black men can live
without the fear of a bullet
tattooing the chest
of everyone they love, their necks bent toward hell,
a day when no one will walk into a supermarket
and open fire in the produce section behind the deli.
He is like a boy with a tiny wounded bird
cradling the world in his arms,
stroking its tired feathers and nursing
it back to health so
it can raise more white sons to kill again.
This coat grows smaller with each wear,
full of holes and bleeding
the same red.
Kevin LeMaster lives in South Shore Kentucky. His poems have been found at SheilaNaGig online, The Slipstream, Triggerfish Critical Review, Route 7 Review, West Trade Review, The Big Window Review, Santa Clara Review, Dead Skunk Magazine and others. He has work forthcoming in Internet Void, Main Street Rag and Coffin Bell Journal. His work in Rubicon: Words and art inspired by Oscar Wildes De Profundis was nominated for a Pushcart prize.