Sunday, September 02, 2012

I Know His Name

"About an hour later, police say, an area hospital called 911 to report a gunshot victim had arrived seeking medical treatment for a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He is identified as Omar Solano, 18. " -- Portland Tribune, August 25, 2012

I knew that name. Saw it cross my screen
one day at work, sifting through school records.
Stuck in my mind: Solano-Calix,
tomato flower. Omar,
a name I'd look to hear from somewhere else
than Solano.

Great God, why should it matter
that I knew his name? Haven't I known for years
what hangs over young men's heads
(the brown, the black young men
the boy at Safeway with the lovely sweet smile)?

It's not as if I've met him, ever,
just a look at his school picture now and then
unraveling the trail of facts
we hang on every boy and girl in school these days--
as if they were some use. Great God,

do You know all their names?
How do You bear it? I knew this one.
Only this one.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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