Sometimes, we say God when what we really mean 
             is help.  But the fear is—that light’s main property

is indifference.  The time it takes one
             bullet to pierce the skin is not the time

it takes the light travelling 94 million 
             miles from a white-hot star 

to arrive at this point on his brown skin.  And yet, 
             here they are—tearing into him—like a thirst

for faith, like dueling religions.  Here 
             and not here.  The bullet and the light.  This 

is how the new grief travels, blackboys 
             digitized and hanging—light years away. 

Sorrow is as long as a news cycle.

 

Cover Art by Rebecca Pyle

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Sjohnna McCray
Sjohnna McCray

Sjohnna McCray earned his MFA from the University of Virginia. His work has been published in several magazines, including Brilliant Corners, Chicago Quarterly Review, Gargoyle, The African American Review, Salamander and Valparaiso Poetry Review. In 2015, he received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. McCray lives and teaches in Athens, Georgia.

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