Neighborhood watch

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December 22, 2022 by The Citron Review

by DW McKinney


I’m neither holding Skittles like Trayvon nor a phone like Stephon. I’m not driving like Philando or jogging like Ahmaud. I’m awake—not like Breonna.

I’m standing outside a home like Amadou.

I sniff blush-colored blooms and cup ivory heads, but I don’t pick them like that little boy in North Carolina.

A voice insists that I move along. I’m being watched. I’m being “monitored.”

It’s the voice of a man, displeased that I would stand across the street from his home, minding my business.

Smelling flowers.

Enjoying my Black life.

A threat to no one at all.


DW McKinney is a writer and editor based in Nevada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Los Angeles Review of Books, Ecotone,The Normal School, Hobart Pulp, Barrelhouse, and Hippocampus Magazine, among others. She is a nonfiction editor for Shenandoah and editor-at-large for Raising Mothers. Say hello at


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