He’s a beautiful boy from the perilous streets,

down on the ground, blooming


red petals that trickle to a pool.

He’s a beautiful boy


in the desert, scattered,

slugs of bone, ribbons of skin.


He’s a beautiful boy

in the alley, battered


and kicked for his unabashed grace.

Boys of here and there


gone in a hurry, cold before the moon

settles in the dark-sleeved sky.


The bullet is a falling star.

The bomb is a lie undone.

Hate hibernates until it feels a warm breath.


MERCEDES LAWRY has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, and Harpur Palate.  Thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks. Her manuscript “Small Measures” was selected for the Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize from Twelve Winters Press and will be published in 2018. She was a finalist for the 2017 Airlie Press Prize and the 2017 Wheelbarrow Press Book Prize. She’s also published short fiction, essays as well as stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.