…acquitted on all charges in the August 2020 shootings of three men, including two who were killed.” – CBS

At what time the fog took over, I do not know:
I was, if not sleeping, attempting to, tossing
and turning like a Heron’s wing, lost in fog.

Fog clings to the hillsides like grime, like rust,
like coffee dregs, like piss on porcelain, like anger
on the heart: Who will scrub the world clean?

The fog is so thick, my son cannot see the soccer field,
grows angry, cries, demands to go home. We go home
and learn to count time: How long until the sun comes out?

I am not as angry as I should be, or content. It is neither
dark nor light, a purgatory of waiting. A young man fires
bullets at the fog: Who will atone for the Heron’s demise?

I can give my son a jacket, take a bullet, confront the fog
so he doesn’t have to. But how to shield him from this anger?
When the fog lifts, everyone, right or wrong, will take credit.

The day grows hotter. Flies sweat, as do trigger-fingers.
One misstep these days can kill you. Surely there is more
to aspire to than martyrdom? Look at the circling birds!

They eye us warily, with curiosity. They have had to adapt
to our anger, to learn to live with it better than we do.
Tomorrow I’ll have them explain their system of justice.

Earthbound, how do I escape the algorithms that stoke, reward
anger? We are commodities, eyeballs, data points. To still my
nerves, I swat at the fog, blame it for this and that injustice.

The fog is more than metaphor. Cars crash, ships run aground,
friends mistake friends for enemies. Then the fog lifts and
we face ourselves, guns drawn, hands shaking with fear.

Image credit:Stefano Pollio

Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. When not working, he enjoys reading, writing, watching documentaries, and ranting about the state of the world. He has had his poetry published in several journals, including Burningword Literary Journal (which nominated his poem ‘The Machinery of the State’ for the Pushcart Poetry Prize), Noble/Gas Quarterly, and The Esthetic Apostle.