What Can We Say?

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What Can We Say?

In the beginning, we floundered
for a way to say his name—

does it rhyme with cough, rough,

or proof? But now we know more
of the pronounceable truth—

the burning flags, the pitiful
potted plants, lowered

shades, the menacing muzzle

he stared down. We know
the anatomy of his flat, blank

belly and the floor-plan
of his basement, Bible-study

crime—how he waited an hour,

chance upon chance, under
the irritating power of the Word,

reloaded five times so death
was maniacally complete. We know

each name that matters—

Coleman-Singleton, Jackson,
Thompson, Lance, Middleton-Doctor,
Pinckney, Simmons, Sanders, Hurd.

We know—in our hearts—
we know what they said: Welcome.

Pull up a chair. Where’re you
from? Glad you’re here.

Make yourself at home. Don’t
….and,
later: We enjoyed you. But God

have mercy on your soul.

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