Meg Cowenwhile something somewhere is burned from the feet up (oil and pastel over black-and-white photograph)

The boy bled by the curb lay slept
his flipped palms catching rain

The boy bled by the man fell flinched
his hands raised spelling mercy

Afterward we gave the boy
and his name to the umber

we gave each other stories
and permission to forget

The boy bled by the earth gave himself
to the ground like a promise

curled into his own leaving
like a jealous hand

Then one of us said some thing about justice

Another said: I saw the castle
where I met the king

I touched the iron wheel
he keeps for a heart

tell me again how justice
dwells first in the heart

tell me again why the boy
hit the ground heart first


Sara Biggs Chaney