~for El Paso

Land of loneliness,
Loneliness infectious as breath
Breath tainted with blood
From the panic of a trachea
Rubbed raw with fear.

Land of fear,
Fear of the other,
The mother, the brother,
The voice breaking up on the line
Lifelines on palms disappearing
Behind clenched fists
Swinging in protest, swinging
At the protesters, swinging
As they fall limp
From the gurney.

Land of nothing,
Nothing but desperation,
Nothing but shock upon shock
Upon shock, upon shot upon shot
Upon shot, nothing but numbness,
Nothing but another empty bed
In another empty house
Where laughter was once shared
Like bread still warm at the table,
Land of nothing,
Nothing that could be done,
Nothing but thoughts and prayers,
Prayers held like toe tags in the mouths
Of politicians who have come
To enjoy the taste.

Land of taste,
Taste for fame,
Taste for lust, eyes widening pools
Of darkness,
Black like those of a shark,
Taste for blood,
Blood still warm like blood
Served in bowls to the damned,
To the vampires, to the citizens
Who've grown used to the taste.

Land where freedom rings
Like a cellphone unanswered
In the pocket of a corpse,
And so many phones are ringing
So many phones are ringing
You can’t hear the gunshots
For the noise.

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Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: Jaysizemore.com.

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