We’ve been sprawled on the old wood bridge for hours.
Our young palms are splintered now by twisted boards and the tops
of our feet sting,
from the biting chill whipping our bare skin.
I’m more scared than you are.
You’re more scared than anything.
Icy gray clouds shift endlessly above our sweet warm breaths:
mine wasted on childish trivialities
and yours blessed with provocative profundities.
We wade in half-frozen water in the woods by where we are grow-
This is the place I will stagnate
and it is almost winter
and our world is still big.
Based on the painting “Open Casket” by Dana Schutz, 2016 Inside the open casket lies a Black boy Whose face tells his-story An innocent Black boy who was supposed to— Live a sweet childhood Yet, there it lies His mutilated face Upon the pillow of grief All hopes of tomorrow Lost in his Black suit
And with my own eyes I see her, breast teasing the orange creek, head cocked backwards, anchoring it softly into the water that Sam calls shit water, that my dad calls golden river. Toes pressed against the rusting dock, little moles sitting on her legs like flies, she hums. I shake, tossing gravel into the