Monday, June 15, 2020


I want to breathe freely

there's a black boy
8 years old
with his mother
holds a sign
I want to breathe freely

I stay to the edges
see a muscle bound tree
in a torn punisher shirt
I know what that means
I watch carefully
until he's gone

a man in a lemon colored suit
nervous bangs on steakhouse door
shitting himself for a to go order
there’s a man behind me, we laugh
as lemon suit races to his car

we file past the old jail
the bridge of sighs
I think of anarchists
alexander berkman's
failed escape
like emma, if I can’t dance
I don’t wanna be at your revolution

crowd swells
stretches over blocks
they chant
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe

at the top of the lower hill
thousands peaceful
at the head of the march
people film, photograph
sheer numbers
this is what democracy looks like

collective gasp
cops on horseback
ride through
middle of protesters
collective yells, screams
this was a peaceful protest

cop centaurs chase humans
across parking lot
water bottles and rocks
the first punches thrown
this is what a riot looks like

horses they pass
a woman nearby
fuck you
this was peaceful
this was peaceful

cop yells
fuck off
there is no de-escalation
she is shattered illusion
this is what a police state looks like

--Jason Baldinger

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