Frank X Walker

One-Third of 180 Grams of Lead

Both of them were history, even before one
pulled the trigger. Before I rocketed through
the smoking barrel hidden in the honeysuckle,
before I tore through a man’s back and shattered
his family and a window glass, before I bounced
off a refrigerator and a coffeepot, before I landed
at my destined point in history, next to a watermelon.
The truth is ugly but what was cruel was the irony,
not the melon, not the man falling in slow motion,
but the man squinting through the cross hairs
reducing the justice system to a small circle, praying
that he not miss, then sending me to deliver a message,
as if the woman screaming in the dark or the children
at her feet could ever believe that bullets could hate.

Frank X Walker
“One-Third of 180 Grams of Lead” is from No More Fear: The Rebirth of Medgar Evers.