o make us

aware of our infinite

and atomic obligation

to each other she and i face to face with you

remind us to kiss you with the kisses of our mouth

she asks me to be more devoted to her than to myself

more devoted to us than to her and more devoted to you than us

police shootings chokings deaths from a white on high

make me aware of the worlds circling

the blood of the sow who has eaten her young and the cities we live in

american male white male dark white break us God kiss us until we breathe

with atomic breath the substantial air of atonement

our beautiful lips not ours but yours their beautiful face your face

American Book Award winner Shann Ray is the author of Atomic Theory 7, Sweetclover, American Copper, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, American Masculine, Balefire, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity, and The Souls of Others. He lives with his wife and daughters in Spokane and teaches at Gonzaga University.

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