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selective recall

We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.
                                                                                                                                 —Anaïs Nin

i remember my daughter’s first smile
beneath a maternity ward Micky D heating lamp
recall as hauntingly familiar as battery acid 
thrown into a public pool filled with black children

i remember wearing Levi 501s
Black Panther / Huelga! / Power to The People! buttons
to my high school graduation 
& the echo of a gunshot as the Messiah fell to hate

i remember first love’s
tentative carousing puppy love
an emotion so deep i almost perished
like the soldier flogged, lynched & castrated
on the soil he fought to honor
his hand to heart pledging red / whiter / Blue(s)

i remember signs leading disciplined anger:
I Am A Man!

rocks & bottles flying 

scalding words like rock salt in open wounds

the ill-mannered fire hose 
pushing & shoving men women & children
snarling Gestapo hounds incited to hate  

i remember . . . 
Chewy the pimp at the Main Motel on Union Ave.

To live life, you take the bitter with the sweet

i remember . . . 
that ear-ringin’ beam-me-up boo-yah! sizzle
as the gorilla shifted 
for better purchase on my back

i remember . . . 
things were better yesterday that weren’t  

​                                                                          —henry 7. reneau, jr.

henry 7. reneau, jr. does not Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or Instagram. He is not scared of change, nor stuck in the past; he, instead, has learned from the past that crack kills.