I sweep in the dark of the morning,
when Kingston is quiet, where the only
thing on the road is a mongrel dog
that keeps me company
if I feed him.
He will tell me
through a rise in his half-chewed
ears when gunmen come, and
though they hardly see me,
if they do, they’ll throw me a bills
as if I’m the same stray dog I feed
screw up their faces like
my blackness is the stink of the garbage,
that after sweeping
I burn into ashes.
I’ll always watch how they drag men to the
edge of the gully, and
before the men get shot, it’s like God lets
them see me and
stare in my eyes, as if
my little broom can somehow
turn into a machine gun.
The last thing I see is always legs,
hear the plop of their body in the dirty
gully water, a laugh
and the sound of a car engine.
I’ll continue to sweep like usual.