In 1977 a bullet turned my brother into dust

silhouette of two women smoking, joined by a bird in the middle whose wings have a string that touches the two woman's hearts
Art by Kristina Closs

Thinking with a heavy heart of the Black lives tragically lost to racial injustice not just this weekend and during this turbulent past year but throughout history. Today I share a breathtaking poem in every sense of the word by Khadijah Queen.

“I Have a Method of Letting Go”

Asthmatic child in a house full of smokers, I crawled once
under toxic clouds to find my mother

I was so brave I almost died, or desperate

I wanted her more than breath
I was so small & she could sing
anything alive, almost

She didn’t really know, doesn’t know now—

She is familiar with duty & made me so
I can’t live on that loss

In 1977 a bullet turned my brother into dust
His 18 years here, an invisible talisman we hold in our callous living

Sometimes I think my mother smoked to pretend to breathe him in

from Anodyne