223: The number of homicides in Baltimore City in 2010. 23: The age of Stephen Bradley Pitcairn, one of those victims. Numb, we watch the news from a safe distance. No personal blood is shed. Yet, beyond statistics lie human emotions-pain that cuts deeper than any weapon. Poet Shirley J. Brewer responded to the stabbing death of Stephen Pitcairn, who envisioned a career as a doctor. Instead, he died in the street just one block from Brewer's home in Baltimore's Charles Village neighborhood. Brewer gives tragedy a voice. In words both spare and poignant, she creates an awareness of the staggering ways violence robs everyone-families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and society as a whole. In After Words, we grieve. Our sorrow is specific, for Stephen and the Pitcairn family. It is also universal-for every person whose life has been lacerated by crime. One knife, and we all bleed.