Baptized in the smoke from burning bodies,
man-made structures, pine torches, and high hopes
fed by bellicose wind, flames of inequity jumped
rivers of reality and walls of faith to lead us
to an annual merry-go-round of resentments
and aching, heartbreaking fears of self-annulation
as we huddle in the shadows of the Valley of Death
and pray for release from the cycle of toxic air,
the smell of burning hair, and the loss of
unearned optimism and progressive dreams
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