Perhaps because I am a POC, within seconds of my arriving at the vigil, someone hands me a candle, makes room for me on the stairs. Tonight, the Perseids are ending, the sky a roof / a shroud / an emptiness / an indictment though just yesterday I saw three of the brightest I have ever seen, each one competing with the gibbous moon’s light. This is what I believe, that the writer fundamentally has the right to tell any story in the human family, & that in return, the reader has the right to be offended. I do not believe that writing about a community to which you do not belong is, in & of itself, an offense; if we are only allowed to tell our own stories, then think of the terrible burden that places on the marginalized, the weight of being the only one to tell her story, of being confined to the ghetto of identity, of not seeing yourself in the discourse unless you yourself pick up a pen. Narrative belongs to all of us. The role of the imagination is what powers art—to imagine oneself as Other, to imagine the experience of living another’s truth— but yes, the reader absolutely has the right to be offended when someone tells it badly, when the writer paints it in ways that ring inauthentic, sloppy, ill-researched, naïve. Watch as I light a torch & take to the streets, my white face ablaze w/power, so many of us, so many of us! & for a few hours in this zero-sum world I matter, my kind seemingly ascendant, this hole gratifyingly filling in me which I cannot name & which I cannot fill fast enough.