George Floyd’s face floats slightly out of focus
In the same way a fire always does
Because there is no beginning or end
When you look at either, only the heat,
Remember the heat, how it burns the back
Of the throat as night screams his name through the flames.
Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the Margaret Bundy Scott Professor of English at Williams College and teaches Creative Writing at Princeton University. His latest book is Living Weapon (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020).