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Tuesday, July 16, 2013


by Emily Pittman Newberry

Cartoon by Mike Lukovich

There is a 9 mm gun
that cracked the door open
to no tomorrow.

There is a story
of two young men
with only one voice
left standing.

There is blood
on the ground
and tears flowing
from the heavens.

There is a state
that loses justice,
raises safety
on a pedestal
and gets death
in the mail.

There is a community
that puts its frustration
at past crimes
into the holster
of a man.

There is a teenager
eating skittles,
and the news says
too much sugar
can kill you.

There is a trial
and the rule of law rules
that 9 millimeters
of assumptions
and 300 years
of black history
are not admissible
as evidence.

There is a twitterverse
where dueling assumptions
give voice
to well intended fears
and the hopes
of competing histories
have no ending.

Emily Pittman Newberry is a performance poet and writer living in Portland Oregon.