Volume 27, Number 3


When Michael Brown happened… the radio said. But my last breakup happened. Michael Brown bled and died. She probably would have shot me, but it didn’t happen. A burnt sandwich from Mcdonalds happens. Throwing up on someone’s shoe happens. Michael Brown died. And my neighbor called him a thug while his mother wept on Fox News—meanwhile his son’s locked up for battery. But I keep my mouth shut. That black kid from Missouri’s a gangster.

I’m watching the riots thinking about that time I stole the sign for Markview road. I was drunk and wanted it. I ripped it from the ground and took it home. It didn’t match décor so I tossed it in the woods. We did what we wanted back then and never felt threatened.

And yeah, I turned that guy in for telling our point guard to go back to Brooklyn after his kid tackled him on a breakaway. I still see the spit from his mouth as he pointed at that black kid, his hands up. But I froze on the phone when he asked why I’d turned him in for yelling at that black kid. Hung up and shook my head when he won the school-board election the next fall.

I didn’t say fuck you to the guy who said white privilege doesn’t exist, or put a bat through his window. It’s 780 miles to Ferguson. I didn’t shoot 12 times. But I still have residue on my hands and a scar on my finger. My skin itches.

—Kirk Windus