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Tuesday, May 15, 2012


by Makalani Bandele

                                                       "...He resists because he is there"
                                                                    -Jean Paul Sartre

an absolutely lake shore morning
the sun
is obviously on this side of the earth
but you don’t see it or feel it

there is no reason why
you should or should not— why
do doughnuts have holes

nothing strange so far
on the way home          he wants something
other than doughnuts
the van drives the wrong way
on a one way street       cold air
blows red & blue lights in the rearview mirror
instead of a doughnut     a fat rat
on a pigeon carcass    which is nothing strange

there is no reason why you should
or should not—  an eyeball dangles
out of the socket
why do doughnuts have holes

cold air blows
more red & blue lights in the rearview mirror       they need
to see some identification        
—he is a cop        this is the strange part         
—guns discharge

why do they shoot holes
seven in the front                    twenty-one in the back

wait for it
there is no reason why
you should or
should not     wait     for it     and
wait for it a    long time          when      
it finally comes
just about everything in the body
has emptied out through the holes—
and he still survived

why do cops like doughnuts        sometimes
it’s because part of it is missing
so they can charge him    with trying to kill them
and try him as many times as it takes to get a conviction

cold air blows                 through the holes
in the doughnuts
what passes for  justice so often is just
a herd of rhinoceros

Makalani Bandele is a Louisville, KY native. A Cave Canem fellow and member of the Affrilachian Poets since 2008, he is the recipient of an Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, and a Literary LEO 1st Prize in Poetry. His work is forthcoming in African-American Review. Other publications include Louisville Review, Mythium Literary Magazine, Tidal Basin Review, Pluck! the Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, Black Arts Quarterly, Platte Valley Review, and Sou’wester.  Hellfightin’, his first full-length volume of poetry, was published by Willow Books in 2011.