Pastel pinks assaulted the air,
soles pounded against pavement.
From the park, the POP! POP! POP!
ended our after-church egg hunt, sang
a different kind of Easter hymn.
We wrapped around the bricked two bedroom
straddling the corner of Hill Street
cousins competing in an unexpected race
chased after our breath as bullet sought body
gunning for anyone it can find
to hollow out a space for rest
Kinfolk packed inside Auntie’s house.
Heart beats knocked so loud in our ears
only the wood paneled walls contained them.
The youngest of us gurgles,
blank brown eyes oblivious,
fingers raised toward anyone willing to reach back.
Now during homecomings,
Auntie and I perch on the chain linked furniture,
wonder of shooters with metal nestled in their palms,
listen to the song of a distant ambulance,
wave as neighbors stroll from the corner store
beer cans swinging at their side --
permanent extensions of their hands.
Gabrielle Aboki is an MFA candidate at Florida State University. She is a poetry reader for the Southeast Review.