You are shopping for a hat for your boyfriend because it will be cold soon and his favorite one is threadbare. You are shopping for a hat for him when you find yourself standing in front of a display shelf staring down two options: a loosely-woven beanie in black or in beige. Your instinct is to grab the sleek, elegant black hat, but you know he enjoys evening and early mornings walks when the light is best for photographing the family of swans that live in the pond nearby, and a black man in a black skull cap on an empty road in the dark/before dark/just after dark in a small New England town with less than 2% African-American population may prove less than prudent. And then you remind yourself that he is from Atlanta, a town with a black population greater than 50% and even less expectation of safety for a black man, and your shoulders sag, and you think of your brothers and nephew, black men, who can recite almost any comic book hero’s narrative, deconstruct literature/ hip hop lyrics, re-enact every dance sequence from Breakin’, Beat Street, Grease 1 and 2, but you know the world does not see how funny gentle magic weary they are, only that they are other (and how are they other when this land is our land, not too, but period, black men are not additions to be included in the story of America, they are not a lot to be annexed!), and you think of your nightly prayer they each make it home (HOME!) warm safe loved, and part of you, for a brief moment, standing in front of the display shelf staring down the two hats, is restored and hopeful just thinking of them, but another part of you — the part that understands, at times, camoflauge is the safest way through — concedes the beige hat, and steadies your gait in time with the earth spinning beneath your flat feet.