She charges her ankle bracelet // from the kitchen chair
& Sunflowers in the white wallpaper [begin to wilt].
I wilt with them // before my sister // & her probation
Officer [who comes over to the house unannounced].
Just as we are // preparing dinner // & what are we supposed to
Do now. Cook for him?! Invite him to eat with us??
I am hacking the heads [from broccoli stems] & pretending
His body is spread across the cutting board. [Ugh].
This officer keeps talking nonsense & nudging his eyes around
The apartment. Looking for—drugs, alcohol
Alchemy. My sister waits for him to leave & then begins to rant.
Ramble about // her childhood // & how she used to be
[Before house arrest]. The confines of these plastered walls
& Her monitored route to work // where
Every corner has a cop [coddling a liquor store]. Protecting their
Notion of freedom. // My neighborhood eats fear.
Mothers are getting // handcuffed & harassed. Homes are being
Crushed [like cigarette butts]. Everyone I know
Hates the racist police & wants a revolution. // But we seldom
Aim the gun... Have you heard // how the bullets
Sing their anthem // throughout the body?? // It sounds like
God shutting the door— Bang. Bang.
When it’s dinnertime in heaven [& your officer’s knocking]
Ignore him sister— let the door bruise.
[Let the bears devour our enemies]. We have no obligation
To open // ourselves // for those who do us harm.
Poems of Place
Poems of the Everyday
a break between words within a metrical foot
a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line
A word that, when spoken aloud, has a sound that is associated with the thing or action being named.
the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing
a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”
diverse use of punctuation.