That night we prayed in Triangle Park
cupping vigil candles with paper wax catchers
from a baby wind with our hands
there is something unifying about
lighting a candle from another
something so on the nose metaphorical

I pick gravel out of my knee from earlier
when our cheeks were on the intersection
flat on our stomachs
hands behind backs
and their lights were flashing so
red blue patriotic freedom I could see with
my eyes closed

We are vulnerable
level with the lip of an officer’s shoe
but never as vulnerable as a Black man alone
with one cop doing three cops watching
for eight minutes forty-six seconds without a choice we are reeling

A prayer that is mostly megaphone static
I don’t know what we are agreeing to
but if god is really omniscient
he’ll thread this noise into meaning