“I don’t know”

I know the truth, on the hazy summer days
when heat squeezes the odour out of breeze
caught flowers, sweaty inner thighs, and chlorine pools.
I know the truth of the sky in mid-turn, mid-hack
in a cloudless space, dazed by the shimmer
of sunlight that dresses it blue even if it’s
colorblind and won’t see it, I know

the truth when brownish-red popsicle syrup drips
onto a favorite white shirt, and the young girl
catches a wagged finger from the corner of her
eye, and raises the corner of her lips in glee, because
symbols can sometimes happen in pieces.
Bad, don’t, you should have known better,
look what you’ve done now, and the pleasure
of a life lived up to expectations,
I.
know.
The.
Truth.

The wagged tail of a dog up and down, off beat
with the tennis ball, and the desire to catch it sonically,
woof woof woof, the comfortable swoof of the
pads of feet pushed off concrete and the clap
of baby hands whose fingers tasted green felt last,
caught in her own wave of giggles, certain it can ride
it uninjured to a comfortable adult livelihood.
I know the truth.

The echoed screech of pain as bullets penetrate brown skin, off
key to the abrupt baritone of gunshots, sonically measured to
match the abrupt stop of a heart. I know the truth of green bills
corners lifted in glee, given to colorblind white murderers
with the pleasure of a life lived up to expectations. I
know the truth of a pointless chase, of justice ripped from
the bloody teeth of brown bodies hungry for a simple taste,
always told to drop it. The truth of a summer sun-pushed scent
of death from body like the odour of dying grass, a soundless
avatar of a scream, and responsible onlookers who fail to gather
I.
know.
The.
Truth.

Of a collected gathering of grief, hard at work to stand unshaken
in a crowd ringed by chaos, yet always named as such.

-Stephanie Ambroise

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