For beloved Christopher Ropes

The theme music for this story.

Three AM is at least in the city the magic hour. The drunks gone home or wherever, the tweakers have scurried home, things settle into hazy orange light and the kind of strange quiet that pulls me onto the street. …

CW: racism, trauma, self harm.

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Image for post
[image description: a photo of a Japanese maple tree. I talk to it every morning.]

How I got here.

The news cycle. the police led assaults. the murders, watching people debate the humanity of people who look just like me, the calls for the killing of people just like me- y’all already know.

Since this current bout of awful, I’ve been deep in trauma response. As I get older the inevitability of specifically anti-Black racism has taken a whole new kind of toll on my well being. The recent extra judicial murders of Black people hit me differently, there is a whole new level to how I feel.

When I see the faces of the Black folks murdered, they have become my children. Something in my early 40s brain, attaches some idea of lost motherhood to them and I can’t take it. When I was very young, too young, I looked up Emmett Till. I remember very distinctly I had an encyclopedia and I sat under a table at the library and the first thing I saw was his ruined face. …


Shannon Barber

I write a lot of stuff.

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