wheeling buggies over hot coals, messengers high on blue smoke & tabloids greasing the gears of genocide. There’s a father further down the boulevard dancing belly to belly with a boy in black who offers a chocolate kiss & hisses in his one good ear; his tongue a torch to light the way to heaven’s gate. There’s a mother practiced in cures for an ailing head but nothing for a heart awash in dread who worships at the door where a mouth delivers a basket of lies. This is no time to question authority, shutter your windows or leave in the dark. & yet, there are mothers huddled with children in the woods who barter themselves for a second chance. They’re tough & they’re wanton . . . between screams & whispers, they have & they will abide.