Can I run
If no one is chasing
Me? Lighter than’
Air, will I glide
Above cracked asphalt?
The roar of an engine.
Cracked air. Rifle
Shot. Uglier than
The 4th of July. The
Period on life’s
Sentence. Gun clubs
And viral footage.
Days in a winding chain
The color of sunlight
And then black. And
Then Black. And then

I am inured
To my own pain.
Plate-armor. Rhino
Hide. Is our skin
Thicker? Do we feel
Pain as you do? You
Make myths of us,
You tell us to forgive.
But you can’t stand
The sight of your
Reflection in our
Eyes as they glaze
Over in death. Like
Vampires, you abhor
Mirrors. You shrink
From sunlight.

You worry
When we don’t attend
To your comfort.
When we don’t
Acknowledge you
You spiral into
Anxious fantasy.
I don’t hate you.
I’m just tired of
Your thumbs pinching
My airway. And I
Don’t have to smile
in photos.

Pink-white as the
Inside of a seashell.
Carried to the back
Of a cave. Secret
In its uselessness.
You can’t feel your
Own pain, so you
Enact it in us.
You say, Tip your
Mask so we don’t
Have to fear. Bare
Yourself to our
Disease. Show
Us your mouth, your
Face, your belly. And
It won’t save you,
But one day, we
Might spare your

Alex Jennings is a writer/editor living in Central City New Orleans. He is well past tired of all this.