Deunta T. Johnson

3532 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co. [Lat: 43.060690, Long: -87.958266]

Overnight in Milwaukee

tonight we walk
the streets of a broken city
you hold my hand as we
cross the heaving pavement
all we do we do with one hand
tied behind our back
believing we are not
lambs following a false prophet

our thirst quenched
with drinks we sip on the sidewalk
under the Wicked Hop’s heat lamps
as if cold could teach us
the song that will save

this family folding out of the dark
gray Impala, father lifting
daughter into the purple
stroller, mother bending
a bottle of milk
toward the pink
mouth, all their brown
faces turning up
into the street-lit night
in the city of losing its blood fast—

in that stillness
streets settle
bulbs buzz, the child
hums for more

Sara Parrell

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