Ricky heard the cops shout at Michael
to stop, to put his hands in the air.
But the boy kept moving. And it was
Ricky who halted, pressed flat against
the window of the abandoned hardware store.
He couldn’t see the cops with their pistols
raised. He had a hard enough time trying
to breathe. Michael reached into his pocket
the very second the first shot was fired.
There was no need for a second shot
but the cop pulled the trigger anyway.
The ear-busting report tore the night to ribbons.
Every tenement window was a scream.