Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
And nice to be surprised
Although that is not what happened today.
I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
Just the other day I was walking Charlie
And a black man approached me quickly
With his hands in his pockets.
I was scared.
Charlie wasn’t scared.
Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
The train station because it is dark …
Off Church Ave, old men do cartwheels
on the asphalt of a middle school playground.
When they begin their Tai-Chi, they remove
jackets, & smooth the wrinkles out of the air.
I come courtside with Anthony- tarnished skills,
freshly inflated ball. We lay our jackets & keys
on the fence beside our water & any pride,
trying to recall the form & follow through.
Our opponents are ourselves, until three
ten-year olds demand a game. They talk smack,
have handles, rebounding elbows, cursing
like those they’ve observed, but play hard, fair.
A good shoot-around follows, as pigeons, the …Read article
It was the summer of Nancy Drew–the year I finished the last of Carolyn Keene’s seventy-eight mysteries at the library by my house and, enthralled, started again on the first one. School had been out for a month by then, and the heat came down like an omen, flat and hard on our bodies. My father had a name for this weather; he called it July’s Murder. I liked this because it sounded Nancy Drew, and it worded the world exactly: the grass curling with exhaustion, the sidewalks belly-up with sun by early morning, crying: uncle! uncle!
Everyone …Read article
So green goes
or flies with wind—
divine botanical passion
We darken this
for other equinoxes
How to vanish
turning away from such
an unreliable map
Where in the end
will walk without me
while the world has changed
David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. He has four collections and his poetry has appeared in over 70 journals and publications. His chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest.…Read article