My Dad has come to pick up his black bag that carries a small, permitted firearm. I’ve put it up high in the closet next to the two Christmas dolls I’ve already purchased for my daughter. One white doll in a blue pea coat and one black doll in a woolen wraparound scarf. I know my Dad has engaged the safety, something he first learned to do as a cop, and I know there’s a holster. But the bag is heavy, and anything can happen. I don’t look inside the bag—I don’t ever look. My Dad asks me about the diversity group I belong to and about our meetings where we talk about race and privilege. He tells me of the black woman in Texas who was stopped by the cops. He tells me the officers’ body cams didn’t record any racial slurs. He tells me about his ex-partner, now a police chief in Texas, who didn’t ignore the black man who was murdered and whose body was dragged from the back of a pickup truck. The chief did the right thing, my Dad says, and called the FBI. Sometimes I imagine that I’m holding a pistol and my Dad yells, “Now!” He yells, and I shoot the gun in order to stop something that’s coming toward me. Once, when we were riding home in his old truck, a man stumbled out into the middle of the street. “Don’t hurt me!” said the man, really just a kid, and my Dad slowed his vehicle. I remember the windows were down and how confused I was. I didn’t know yet what to be frightened of. Now my Dad’s arms are turning purple, the way an old white man’s arms do. He’s still big, my Dad, and when he fell off the ladder that year, I bet he fell hard. He seems so fucking pissed off when I tell him about the article in the Atlantic, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” What do they call us, we who don’t use our hands to force things? Civilians? My Dad’s looking at me like I’m a civilian. He’s looking at me like I have no idea of the kind of violence he faced each day as a cop. Like I slow and watch a blooming brush fire on the side of the road. I want to tell him that I’ve cleaned a grown woman’s shit, his mother’s, that I’ve turned her body to the side and wiped it all down. That I wore latex gloves. That I could handle the smell. I want to tell him that I threw the neighbor girl against the side of our stucco house. We were just kids, but inside me is some drive that understands how a man might twist hard a body that resists. In this morning light, though, the skin on my Dad’s face, his shave, the little bit of slack in his cheeks—I know why he’s angry. But he’s got the small, permitted firearm back, and he’ll drive it home now. My daughter’s still at school, where the children growl and trade tools and pour their own water. I hug his shoulders, and he tries to smile. I don’t have to imagine my Dad holding his pistol or crying. I know my Dad can’t stop whatever stumbles in front of us, some white kid on PCP, say, on Roscoe Street, in the middle of a weekday. “Don’t hurt me!” the kid said, and I didn’t know who was going to be hurt, the wacked-out boy in his bluejeans, or the big man driving the truck, the one who could crush him so easily.