Poetry by Truth Thomas


There is blood in the water and blood in the streets
and blood in the tempest raging. As I was
walking this billy club highway, I saw before me

a hate crime skyway, homeless shackled to harassment,
tent lives tossed to tears by storms of badged
blue blues. I saw before me, the Native water-hosed

in winter we, the black and brown incarcerated sea
of we — Arkansas, bedazzled by Midazolam —
the executed legions we, manacled to Last Mile

gurneys, twitching like tails of Grackle birds. Trouble
in my way, got to cry sometime, got to launch this
wailing like a rocket, until chemtrails of our suffering

write their zig-zag names on the bosom of the sky.
There are hellhounds guarding fences of separate-
ness, unfettered by Gabriel’s horn, or any sweet pluck

of Dust Bowl guitars. Teeth of these dogs are tazers,
their stop and frisk spit like pepper spray.
From the roller coaster back of the Blue Ridge Hills,

to the pancake plains of Texas, this land is cancer
ruling reservations, Bible belts like nooses,
diamond deserts flooding with migrant worker’s

bones. I am stopped in Arizona and they are fetching
felonies to plant in my car. I am stopped in Brooklyn
and they are breaking the windows of my teeth. I am `

stopped and stopped in Baltimore, where white step
blocks bear witness, where one of these days —
it won’t be long — like Freddie, I’ll leave the body

of this instrument, along with turds on gunpowder
streets flying flies and liquor store, liquor store
liquor store and bar bar bar and jail jail jail and police

roaming and rambling, following my footsteps
everywhere the sun goes walking
in this land.

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