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Carry, a poem by Kevin LeMaster


He wears the world 

like a torn coat

uncomfortable with

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.