While watching 
a movie

with a lovely, unyielding, 
Well-founded black female

Character, the ten-year-old 
Says, Mom, I love

How fierce 
Black people are.

He’s read thirty-six graphic
Novels in two days.

(I don’t know how
To parent him.

I only know how
To protect him.)

My intestines gorge red.
Warm. I smile at him. Pretend

I don’t feel this green leaf of relief, a leaf
Because he’s managed somehow