Excerpt from The Book of Lamentations

All the crows in town flying over our house, their moxy
collective and loyal; common or not, I’m drawn to this bird
who knows faces and will fight for an unrelated crow.

But now my childhood friend defends two men for stopping
traffic for four and a half minutes—each minute a minute
for an hour Michael Brown’s body bled in the street. The Judge

claims the defendant cannot wear his shirt bulletproof:
black lives matter as it is unfair to the commonwealth,
imagine this before a jury he says—this, after ten months of court.

Fall Again

Monarchs are migrating once more, and as usual hang in great clusters of orange and black in the same groves their insect ancestors flapped through—purposeful dry leaves on a gusty day, the air a frenzy of handfuls tossed and lifted and carried as colorful and fleeting as childhood memories; my grandmother’s face is a tree…