The heart trembles like a herd of horses.—Jontae McCrory, age 11
Hold a pomegranate in your palm,imagine ways to split it. Bring redto surface. Think of the seed's arilsas blood vessels. Remember, grenadetakes its name from pomegranateand identify war by what it takes awayfrom the fecund orchards. Jontae,
there is always one like you.The kid who gets the picked over boxwith mostly black crayons.The one who wonders what beautifulhas to do with beautyand darkens a sun in the corner of the page.Constructs a house from ashen lines, insertsstick figures lying down. Jontae, I knowsometimes red is the only color left to reach for.I fear for you.
You have written a stampedeinto my chest, the same thumping anxietyI receive pushing past marinesin high school hallways.As you watch footage of young men dropfrom helicopters in night vision goggles,know, there are ways to see in the darkwithout covering your face. Jontae, carry verseas countermeasure to recruitment videos.Remember cranes hidden inside poemshung from banners in Tiananmen Square becauseHuang Xiang was exiled for these.Huang Xiang was exiled for this,the calligraphy of revolt. Know [End Page 1008] that you stand nameless in frontof tanks with those who were not photographed. Know,there are those who would rather see you pull a pinfrom a grenade than pull a penfrom your backpack, Jontae,they are afraid. [End Page 1009]