it’s not a feeling. it’s more like a sting. I don’t believe a sting is a feeling, it’s more like an impulse. a flicker or tease of a taste.
and the taste is a jar of honey left open during the month of August. it has remnants of sweetness but only the frame provides certainty it was honey. only the map can assure us it used to be a quiet suburb of st. louis. the city of ferguson, missouri. which is the sister city to sanford, florida and detroit and atlanta and chicago and new york and… and.
the city connects corners of churches to grocery stores and movie theaters to court houses. there are miles of studied architecture on houses of bungalow, cottage and manor homes that are primly arranged around squares of cemeteries. and the neighborhood has picked up traffic over the past few years. but the neighbors don’t complain. in fact they don’t notice. their big houses have big mortgages and so they work during the day and then through the night.
but the martin family has complained. all the uncles and aunts and cousins have yelled their collective frustration. and the mcbride, garner and brown families have complained about the distance. the distance they have to now travel to visit renisha, eric and mike. and sometimes they don’t want to bother anyone with their sorrow so they just tap their legs with dithery index fingers. but this place is nothing like the home they created for their families.
the thought of their shell frozen in the winter time or beset with bugs during the summer brews their stew of muted emotions. but then they can’t imagine a shell. not even after the cold kiss at the services. they are believers in breath. and the new drive takes them through downtown and around the city park and alongside a stretch on the highway and miles later, they still can’t reach them. so their cries flood the ground and vibrates low for rested thunder to communicate upcoming storms.
their new distance finds temporary comfort during loud spirituals and bourbon libations. but they will never be the same. and neither will the neighborhood. or the city. only a map can assure us the city of ferguson, mo. was once quiet.