Kamilah Aisha  Moon

after the news of the dead whether or not we
knew them we are saying thank you
—W.S. Merwin

A blanket of fresh snow
makes any neighborhood idyllic.
Dearborn Heights indistinguishable from Baldwin Hills,
South Central even—
until a thawing happens & residents emerge
into the light. But it almost never snows in L.A.,
& snows often in this part of Michigan—
a declining wonderland, a place not to stand out
or be stranded like Renisha was.

Imagine a blonde daughter with a busted car
in a suburb where a brown homeowner
(not taking any chances)
blasts through a locked door first,
checks things out after—
around the clock coverage & the country beside itself
instead of the way it is now,
so quiet like a snowy night
& only the grief of another brown family
around the Christmas tree, recalling
memories of Renisha playing
on the front porch, or catching flakes
as they fall & disappear
on her tongue.

They are left to imagine
what her life might have been.
We are left to imagine the day
it won’t require imagination
to care about all of the others.

Starshine & Clay

Last updated December 12, 2022