Collective Unrest

 

Seventy-First & Everybody Else

January 16, 2019

for Harith Augustus

My heart thuds the panic of a death sentence
kicking it into view, policeman on my television
flooding streets they call problems, their batons
bludgeons cudgeling bloody people screaming for
their lives, another neighbor toppled early to his
grave pierced by bullets shed by soldiers seeking
answers to their problems between the eyes of each
stranger they refuse to identify as someone like a
human, each bullet a missile a wound a curse carried
by hearses run weary, their engines worn from wheels
sinking from too many bodies harvested for proof

of burden, their lives the target on which officers
aim their guns, each an editorial on the definition of
who’s a person and who they call a hoodlum deemed
unworthy of each breath they need, air so jagged it
cuts their lungs into markers of medical indifference,
each gasp of air a struggle for survival against this
society’s imagination limited by shades they claim
they can’t see, so dark they attract triggers bursting
infinite ashes mothers mourn for the sake of a war
they call necessary — another word for murder —
the state a source of terror in which children grow
so restless, still waiting to shed the poisonous skin
of a nation killing them with each indignity, every
death a headline we weep into helpless throats
grown hoarse from so much crying — he only
wanted to live, just like everybody else.

 

Marilee Goad is a queer writer who attended the University of Chicago and has work published or forthcoming in Ghost City ReviewPeculiars MagazineOUT/CASTBone and Ink Press, and rose quartz journal. You can follow her on twitter @_gracilis and find her website at marileethepoet.tumblr.com.

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