Hope's Great Labor | The New Engagement

Hope's Great Labor

By Alex Brueggeman
Hope's Great Labor art

Rodney King is Dead

The night I found out

that Rodney king died

I sat propped up by two lumpy pillows

in my bedroom

with clothes that did not know

whether they were clean or dirty

 strewn about the floor.

I thought of you and I

on my bed

your Newport breath and

your bony hips and

how they grinded

against mine and how

that most vulnerable

weak sinking feeling after

we both finished

must have been an awful lot

like how Rodney felt

when he realized

he was drowning

at the bottom of a swimming pool.


No Good Mornings

It’s morning. Outside sounds that disgust each other fight

nail to coffin into your apartment. You—hunched over

and heavy—sit bedside, chin to chest deep lined dark circled.

He’s still sleeping— inanimate except for that part of him

you’ve grown to know so well—gently pulsing, half-covered

beneath the white sheet. Is this how he would look

if they gunned him down

in the middle

of the street?

Alex Brueggeman is a graduate of Howard University (BA, Anthropology) and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Using his diverse background and passion for Blackness as his platform, he seeks to create deeply intimate work that highlights the nuances and complexities of the communities he identifies with.

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Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

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