Alternative Facts By Athena Dixon

Alternative Facts

In another timeline
Tamir is hurtling towards
prom season, standing
in a stiff tuxedo, hands
clasped across the golden
waist of a girl smiling
into the camera. In this
timeline, he is hurtling
towards dust, clad in
a stiff suit, in a stiff box
in the undertow of Ohio
dirt.

In our timeline, he is
a flash bang, a cherry
bomb that splattered
the snow temporarily
red. He is a scream
echoed across an empty
park and a body held six
months in stasis before
being pulled into an end-
less state of mourning.

This alternative is not
fact nor fable nor myth.
It is a denial of the bloodied
boy buoyed between the rose
colored glasses of racism. It
is the surf of his body across
the crowd of ancestors
and protesters, lifting
his body like a bale
of the softest cotton. It
is the spinning into the
fabric of this country,
the patchwork of violence
and the dying and fading
of the stitches that hold black
folks together while the seams
continue to burst. Until the grief
pours out like rice. Until it swells
and fills our belly. Until we
are strong enough to continue
this fight.

In an alternative timeline,
Tamir is hurtling towards
the back forty acres of Cleveland,
the sun against his spine,
the lake beneath his feet.
He is walking between the seconds,
walking between the moments, walking
between the heartbeats it took to turn
truth to lie.

By Athena Dixon

Biography:

Athena Dixon is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in various journals online and in print. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has been a presenter at both AWP and HippoCamp. She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.

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