Carry the Weight

he comes home
from school
with his heavy
tye-dyed backpack
draped across skinny shoulders
walking with that slow
sixth grade swagger
carrying that slow
stocky sixth grade
baby weight
with the Weight of a
world on his shoulders
the world was a dumpster
behind a dirty McDonalds
with a thousand leftover
Big Macs and
a thousand extra large fries
with a thousand barrels
of fry grease
poured on top
and lit on fire

like the world was the last herd of
being poached by a herd of
like the world was an Amazon forest
set ablaze

he holds that Weight like
he's seen
babies shot in kindergartens
by military grade weaponry
bodies torn to shreds
by bullets made for buildings
made for death
like he's used his sixth grade body to
hold closed a classroom door
to pile on top of a killer
to hope he's heavy enough
to hold him down
the way it holds him down

he holds it like
he carries
the state of Florida
Pulse. pulse. pulsing.
Sandy Hook
all of Colorado
fields of Columbine
Texas and
a couple hundred years of
brown people being told
they aren't welcome
on their own lands
in the land of the free

like that rainbow tye-dyed backpack
is Stonewall
and marriage equality
and the Supreme Court
and stilletos and
forbidden fake eyelash strips
peeled off a boys eyes before
he climbed back in the window
climbed into his bed in
in seventy-two
in Nashville
in two thousand two
in Rapid City
in twentytwenty

like it weighs as much as
a woman's right to choose
like he's carrying Christine Blasey Ford's
heavy holy testimony
like he's carrying Brett Kavanaugh's
heaping pile of shit

like that shit is on fire
like we ate too many animals
and now the whole planet
has the meat sweats
like we used to have dinner
prepared for us nightly by a
five star Michelin chef
and now we get a mayonnaise sandwich

like the adults have left the room
and blamed the millenials
barricaded the doors
run out of the school
loaded up on gasoline
sped in their cars
home to their weapons stockpile
where from the safety of their laptop screens
they'll protest red flag laws
while waving white flags
and surrending his

he climbs into my gas guzzling
soccer mom
and all four tires pop under
the Weight

and we are forced to walk
silently home
sloping shoulders
backpack swinging
and a quivering upper lip
me perched on his shoulders
overweight and
old as fuck
and him
knees crumbling
and palms bleeding
from the shrapnel
and his resolve
and the weight of
one thousand unmet promises
in a one thousand year war
where he'll carry the bodies
where he'll carry the Weight