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Hug a black boy while you still can.

Before he's ripped from your arms,
Torn from your womb
Thrown into a cell
Beaten in an alley
Hung from a tree
Shot down in the street

Hold him and pray for his safety
Pray for his return from the gas station
From school
From work
From life

I held a two year old and as he tried to squirm away I thought of how much love I had for someone in such short time
How this body holds so much value to me and so many others
He matters, he's only two but he matters just as much as any other human being.
His black skin beams along with his smile and I couldn't imagine life without this black boy.

So why can't our government see that?
Why can't they look at our black boys and love them unconditionally?
Protect them unconditionally?

Our black boys matter.
Hug them while you still can.
 Nov 2014 Emily
Joshua Haines
Dear reader,

It won't be long before they electrocute the trees with candy colored Christmas lights. Soon everything will be gone: memories, glances, the year. Every thing will dissolve into nostalgia and our lives will become more patchwork and less hopeful. Soul-crushingly sweet our smiles will be, as we watch that disguised meteorite crash into our existence.

Her name was Reno. Her dad joked he named her so because she was the result of a gamble gone wrong.

I could see the stitching around her eyes start to falter, as tears slipped out like a young nineteen year-old girl, running out of the back of a double-wide. Away. Away from it all. Leaving her father, the mechanic who could only fix things with his hands. Running through a field as shimmering as her nails, touching the tall grass with her short fingers.

"I'm not trailer trash," she said, "I've just had it rough."

Reno could see things others couldn't see. Frequently she painted wrecked cars, and I asked why, to which she explained, "Some accidents are allowed to be beautiful."

I fell for her the way her jaw drops after one of my inappropriate jokes: quickly and with such joy.

She had the same answer to when I asked if she liked movies and if she missed her mom.

"Of course I do, Josh," she looked at me and smiled, "Hey buck, have you ever seen True Romance?"

A woman after my own heart.

We watched Christian Slater shoot Drexl, and, like a bullet to the chest, she placed her hand over my heart.

"My, oh my, are you sure that rib cage is big enough for that thing, Mr. Haines?"

She looked a little like Patricia Arquette, but identical to Michelle Williams.

"Are you aware that you look like Michelle Williams?"

Reno ran her hands up my legs, across my torso, and held her hands at my jaw,"Are you aware of how good of a person you are, John Mayer?"

"Ah, yeah. I've gotten that since high school."

She smiled, looked down and up at me,"No, the part about you being a good person? ...You're the drawing on my wall."

I didn't know what that meant.

"I had this drawing-so terrible-it was of the sunset on our hill in Welling Valley," she looked into me and down, while smiling,"Anyway, the sun would kiss the grass every evening, and one day I thought I'd draw it and keep it in my room. When every thing got ugly with my daddy's drinking, and when he beat me something awful, I wanted something to remind me that the light sometimes goes away but will always be back another day. You're my light, Josh. You're the next day after nineteen years of cussing and drinking."

We made love on my bed, as, through the window, the sun bathed our bodies. Her body was a sculpture and her voice was as soft as her lips. I was terrified.

Pulling her hair back, she stood at the foot of my bed, naked,"Are you scared of little ole' me? You look as white as a ghost."

"No, I've never felt so alive... You're so ******* beautiful."

Reno and I lain in bed while Parks and Rec played on the television. Her index and ******* walked across my chest and stopped as she asked, "Josh, have you ever been in love?"

I touched my fingers on hers, studying them with my eyes, and then I looked at her, "Yes, once."

"What was it like?"

I thought I'd feel pain but instead I smiled, "Fantastic, fleeting, and always a little out of reach."

She cooed, "I can't wait until I think I love you like nobody else."

"Me too."


Joshua Haines
 Nov 2014 Emily
 Nov 2014 Emily
as fragile
as a songbird -

her hands

knotted and spotted
from many winters

november came one last time -
i held her hands in mine - gently

- gently, she flew away
to where songbirds go
when it's cold in the mountains.

r ~ 11/18/14
For my mother, Betty Taylor Richardson (8/9/1935 - 11/18/2013).
 Nov 2014 Emily
On the edge of the Milky Way, way, way out in space
There's this planet called Earth; we've all heard of this place
A place where all the inhabitants are a complete disgrace
They allow millions to starve, while a few stuff their face
And no matter the size of their knowledge base
They can never understand one another and begin to efface
With their swords, knives, guns, bullets and bombs all apace
They will soon go at one another in a nuclear arms embrace
They have the ability to end themselves in one last Coup de Grace
....and with disparaging tones, we call them, the human race
".... and we call ourselves the human race." - John F. Kennedy

November 18, 2014
your eyes
      tell me
what your mouth
Drive me
to the
moon and back
and maybe we can
take a detour around

the big dipper
and get lost in {the}

s         p      a        c           e

between us...
This is full of maybe's
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