SURVEILLANCE: Standard American Similes With Interchangeable Blacks

The night is as black as skin   It falls slowly
   publicly like an { Eric }
Night hushes like { Jordan }
Sky creeps like a Black body’s blood   Sleepless
birds enforce curfew
The people are as broken and exposed as { Emmett }
Aren’t we?
Time drags like { James }   Look how
{ Otis } levitates full-faced and pale among the black
walnut trees
Stars surround as quickly as officers   Again night is dark
like Mother’s throat
Her cry is black with grief
      We have
moved into metaphor


For 10 weeks, we will feature one poem per week from Surveillance, the new chapbook available now from Writ Large Press. These poems by Ashaki M. Jackson explore police killings of Blacks captured on video and the public’s consumption of these videos. Previous poems: 1234567, 8

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