At the Intersection By Hazel Kight Witham

At the Intersection

the day after Philando, which was the day after Alton

At the intersection of Crenshaw
and MLK Blvds
I am oblivious until
I steer into the left turn lane
and look up to see
the crowded corner
the signs, the shouting.

The car I pilot has no horn,
and so I am mute
when I wish to be blaring
sounding into the horror
of it all.

The woman shouting on the corner
with raised fist
sees me
see her.

I raise my hand,
peace fingers V-ed
trying to say
I see you, I hear you, I’m with you
but I wonder if she thinks
I am saying,
Hush, Relax, Calm Yourself,
and I don’t know,
I just don’t know—
what my raised fist
in response to hers
would mean.

I think maybe she nods
and I lower my arm,
poised at the intersection
of where one struggle
meets another—
Black Lives Mattering
on every side of me
and me,
lost in unnavigable privilege

wondering how to
be a part of something
that scares me
and moves me
and that I feel so far from—

able to roll up the windows,
and when the light turns green for me
as it always does,
roll on through the intersection.

By Hazel Kight Witham


I live in Los Angeles with my husband and two young sons. During the school year I am inspired by the stories of young people in the giant public high school where I teach English Language Arts. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and my work has been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, and California English.


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