Archive for December, 2014

Chokehold

Icantbreathe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chokehold

“I can’t breathe!”
Eric Garner’s last words,
gasped as Officer Pantaleo’s hands
squeezed his windpipe shut.

“I can’t breathe,” Garner pleaded
as he died, begging—
every cell in his body
screaming for oxygen.

“No reasonable cause,”
said the D.A.,
when the grand jury choked on logic
refusing to indict even though

the medical examiner ruled
Garner’s death a homicide.
“I can’t breathe!”
protesters chanted.

“This fight ain’t over, it just begun,”
said Esaw Garner. In her voice
I hear every cell in her body
screaming, begging, pleading for justice.

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I have been eating poetry

photo

New Albany, Indiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been eating poetry

Wildly gorging on it,
like it was chocolate, and you know—

I cannot keep candy in the house.
I’d be fat as a tick, as Mama used to say.

Poetry is calorie-free, sweeter than syrup
but sometimes so bitter it stings going down.

I sat alone in a softly-lit hushed restaurant last
Saturday night, reading poetry, poetry, poetry

and savoring vegetarian chili, roast carrots and
a cold brown ale.

There is no happiness like mine:
so much poetry—no room, even, for dessert.

 

 

 

(An ode to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand, who died this week.)

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