Tonight Beneath My Son’s Window

Tonight beneath my son’s window
someone is shooting up

Long ragged exhale
into the warm night

we say we are
A good city



We say we are
A safe city

And I could call nine-one-one
cops would come
roust the broken man
from the small alcove

just below my sleeping boy

But I don’t want him punished
don’t want him beaten or harmed
or threatened

or lost

In the hollows
we good people call jails

Is he not also
a mother’s child

Tonight beneath my son’s window
someone is shooting up

And we don’t have safe injection sites
some good people say we should
some good people say we shouldn’t

They rage and debate from their safe houses
While tonight

Tonight beneath my son’s window
someone is shooting up

His murmurs are low now, soft
All harm turned inward

My son sleeps in his soft bed
sweet face at rest

arms out, open hands
perfect trust

I put my phone down

Stay where you are, neighbor
where you are dry
and the night is quiet

Where I will hear you
if elusive peace turns to terror
if you start to slip away

Where I could call nine-one-one
not for billy clubs and move along
but for Narcan
and one more morning

I’m not one for prayer
but tonight

Tonight beneath my son’s window
someone is shooting up

Please
keep us all safe

Please
show us a way

to bring our lost neighbor
home.