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Sliced Bread

The easiest way to break

silence is with sirens.

Lights cutting through blackness

like bullets exiting guns.

That slow, cocked reflex.

That quick draw. That lack

of regret. That dawn rising,

masking any sense of mourning.

 

They say if you’re in trouble,

screaming “Fire!” is more effective

then “Help!” Apparently, there are

enough hands to extinguish flames,

but never enough to stop

a body mid fall. On the street, you learn

there are shadows meant to hide behind,

but more so, there are shadows built to avoid.  

 

In a country assembled on eradicating persecution,

the flags of bigotry line main street. An argument

over history vs. oppression fills the air

like dust in lungs. Heavy, and impossible

to breathe through. Anti-protesters walk backwards

to picket lines and claim progress is whoever

shouts loudest over quiet signs.

 

They don’t notice the names of the graves

they trample over to scream their piece.

They don’t give a second thought to the fact

that the red carpet is a river of blood, running

over the blacktop like rain, suffocating shined shoes.