I’ve come to see what remains of my son
before they wash the pavement.
There are flowers sticking out of a fence
where strangers have paid tribute –
dying leaves: a golden mass of light
still in their plastic.
As I approach the concrete melted into blood
a yellow-blue board screams:
Fatal Gang In Confidence
I step away from the cracks and see the guts
have said too much, each drop a part of him I knew:
the sheet where he was born
a nose bleed on a white, white shirt
outline of a boy with three knife wounds.
Why is it my child locked in an airless box
and not that man, frowning in his car?
Or her, a girl I do not know
and did not push into this world?
My blood has fallen on the ground.
I am the blood torn from his heart.
These strangers want to help me stand
but where he fell, this pavement
frames me gentle enough.
from Her Lost Language (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019)