Apnea & Bruxism (I woke to the news you were dead) by Michael Kleber-Diggs

Michael Kleber Diggs titles his poem with words you may only know if you suffer from the conditions: apnea, a breath-stopped waking in the night, bruxism, a tooth-crunching grind asleep and awake. With only two words we are launched into the physical terror of one man’s response to the murder of George Floyd. The poet is a person who knows before he knows, before he’s willing to know. He lists a line of facts in single words we recognize as representing the whole occurrence first to last, from mundane causes to lethal results. He addresses George Floyd directly as his own body registers similar trauma “gasping for air,” “fists clenched tight,” hope so intense it turned to prayer. His suffering merges with George’s as it did for us watching, as it does again reading this poem.

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