Encounter with Justice

Norene Cashen


          —for Bryan Stevenson

Today a bullet asked me
where the world is going.

Then it was a street
I walked on.

Then it was a third grader speaking Spanish.
Then it was a riot nobody paid attention to. 

Then it was the sun that opened itself.
It was the night-

blooming Jasmine, which is tender and white
          and black, and round with gray feathers.

It flew away.
It came back.

The next time I didn’t recognize it
till I felt it burn through my chest. 

I put up my hands
and died.