if summer is old enough
and the leaves heavy with heat,
continuo of cicada
tricks me, and,
for so brief an instant,
I am back
in the time of bikes, grass prickles,
summer sleighbells of the ice cream man,
a time when we had not yet heard of
But it — that time — knew of nooses
of word and of rope.
To go back is to ask —
how could a country of lynchings
not become a country of mass shootings?
There is no perfect then.