Volume Four, Issue 1

Khalil Elayan

White Noise

(Dedicated to the late Atatiana Jefferson)

an open door
with a night breeze
as the first visitor

after fun
             and games
there is TV and snacks
             with the small boy

no white noise at midnight
no national anthem
an artifact of her mother’s

just a program of their choosing
King of the Hill
on Hulu

it’s one a.m. when she laughs at Hank
and his redneck friends
drinking beers
on the side of the road
in front of their own homes
in the land of the free
and the home of stand your ground

she feels good
they eat well
…laughing heartily

she’s at home
and all is right with her world

her environment      —colored
by the tinge of molasses epidermis
and fingers stained with popcorn salt

then a noiseless shadow
from beyond the window
and the screen

still chewing the pop—
she shields the boy

from the danger that
shies from an open door

not laughing or hiccupping
when white noise
isn’t heard
the moment .357
ploughs chunks of tissue and bone
in inordinate aortal destruction

glass pops under boot heels
as a body drains
in the most sacred of settings…
             a little detail lost in the periphery of blindness

native nobody

walking down the two lane
as she always did
three times a week

indigenous, indefinable, and invisible

wagging hips from
             side to side
             with teenage authority

the picture of a legacy of
             a dead people
that she should be dead

flippant to the reality of
             torture on the road

a destiny of mutilation

in her hand—a sweating forty
when he drove by
             the first time

when he drove by the second
             auntie would get
             no buzz

plucked off the

like a frivolous stone caught in hot tire treads
to be ripped apart

and shot out in pieces across the plain

Khalil Elayan: "I am a Senior Lecturer of English at Kennesaw State University, teaching mostly World and African American Literature. My other interests include finishing my book on heroes and spending time in nature on my farm in north Georgia. My poems have been published in A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine, Dime Show Review, About Place Journal, and The Esthetic Apostle. My most recent essay appears in bluntly magazine."

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