Like the sourdough on our pandemic counters
fed and nurtured, punched down, cast off and culled,
rage is a heady medium.
Stir in incipient poverty, hunger and homelessness
with the fear of a weaponized strangling disease and
grief for the 100,000 and more it has already been allowed to kill,
add the seasoning of a white man kneeling on a Black man’s neck, and soon
we are all eating the hard, dark bread of the poor, the unseen,
of the Human Capital spent on cake for the few,
that bread made with the wild yeast of
yearning to breathe free,
without mask or shackle,
that bread made in ovens backed against the wall,
those ovens with fires that light torches
and Molotov cocktails.
—O and the ovens some of us were fed to
in other days, to purify the whitewash—
these are not those ovens,
this flame not those flames,
this smoke a sweeter smoke of the Old Way
the last bread made of ashes.
‒May 30, 2020, Brooklyn
©Lee Kottner 2020