Unrest in Baton Rouge
–Tracy K. Smith
after the photo by Jonathan Bachman
Our bodies run with ink dark blood. Or else
It pools in the pavement’s seams.
Is it strange to say love is a language
Few practice, but all, or near all speak?
Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else
Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade
Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat?
We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.
Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,
Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze
Image: Ieshia Evans stands before policemen in riot gear in Baton Rouge, LA July 9, 2016
( Jonathan Bachman for Reuters / Flickr )