after Christopher Gilbert

Staring down the barrel of a black gun—
the policeman’s silhouette on the other side—
I forget I’m no longer just a boy. I forget
my shoulders, now grown pulleys, and the ropes
are flying. I forget the dish-soap slipperiness
of sleep as it falls from my face, which is to say
I forget how this encounter ends. I forget what
shade of brown I am in this part of the state until
I turn to see two very brown men stooped
over an ’88 Reliant K engine screaming

in the middle of the night. I forget from where
starts the neon blue that cuts through crisp
in every replay of this moment. What color is fear
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