Life plus 419 years:

the sentence given to the white
supremacist who plowed his car

into a mass of bodies, killing
Heather Heyer in a narrow, over-
crowded street of the university

town where my daughter and son-in-law
and new baby used to live. We were
on our way to visit that day,

when crowds of counter protesters
held up hand-lettered signs that said
Love or Solidarity or No Hate to the far

right and neo-fascist groups carrying
Confederate flags and Nazi flags
and semiautomatic weapons. Slow

motion in a video of those moments
shown to the jury: shoes popping off feet,
kneecaps breaking, the contents

of a water bottle scattering an arc
as bodies fell, as the man used his car
to mow them down… From the Analects,

this question: If a man has no
humaneness, what can his propriety
be like?
From grief, try to hold

the word life in your mind the way
it should be held: like a mirror, a
singularity. A duty. The future.

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