I saw Dunbar’s Mask in reverse:
black journalists don’t choose the news
anymore than the rest of us.
A straight face can be hard to come by
when talking about black protesters,
majority-white police departments,
and efforts at community relations.
He imagined the press bulletin:
Terribly sorry about how we reacted
to how you reacted
when we shot and killed that kid.
This is not a justification.
I believe in stoicism
where the news is concerned.
But let’s give the newsman his due.
He kept it together until he couldn’t,
till it started to crust and sugar over.
And there, nearly imperceptible
at the corners of his mouth,
glass breaking in the night.