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Monday, January 04, 2016


by Jay Sizemore

Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year. —The Guardian, Dec. 31, 2015. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY EDUARDO MUÑOZ / REUTERS / LANDOV via The New Yorker: A protest on the Brooklyn Bridge, December 28, 2015.

I killed Tamir Rice.
So what.
This is what you wanted.
Blood runs like red mercury
off this silver umbrella shield.
My heart is impenetrable,
oblivious to innocence.

I kill Tamir Rice every day.
I wear your list of signatures
like a cape while I fight crime.
You send your children to schools
like dreams sent to die.
I am the killer of those dreams
and you hired me to kill them.

Your rage is hilarious in its hyperbole.
Thousands of candles lit on a stage,
each one destined to fizzle out
and signify nothing.

The residue of gunsmoke
left on your fingers—
Swirl it in your coffee
before you drink it down.
That’s the taste of bitter truth,
a violence wound like wire
around the vocal cords
struggling to cry out
for change,

while a crescendo of gunshots
punching holes in the sky,
only pauses to reload.

Jay Sizemore hates when you call writing a hobby. His work has appeared in print and online. He just released a short story collection, as well as two poetry chapbooks this past year.