“#BlackLivesMatter)” by Keri Withington

For the good of the Fatherland,
              i know why the others aren’t here the girls with
              purple-black eyes the boys with boys the priests
              who sermonize and the Jews the Jews the Jews
              houses sit empty stare not one says any thing no
              one trusts any know no-one wants to look any
Keep eyes ahead.
Don’t blink.
              i cross my heart i hope to die i have a secret if
              you promise if you hope to die but i never
              told you they asked questions i told you they
              are watching the gaps watch the spaces be-
              tween furnaces make life-room make space to


Do you know why                                                      My birth, my breath, my skin still a crime
I pulled you over                                                         I am 31 times guiltier [without a signal]
Stub out                                                                      This is my car my choice my vice
I will light you up                                                         #Handsup #SandySpeaks
                                                knee meet back
                                                face concrete
                                                looped car videos
                                                hall no cameras
                                                trash [neck] bag
                                                                                      Do you not even care about that?
                                                                                      At the moment black lives matter.
                                                                                      They matter.


              this belonged to some one who was some thing
              who was called who had a name now this belongs
              to some one number don’t use don’t ask don’t
              even whisper pretend they just moved pre-
              tend they never existed don’t tell don’t hope to
The greater good.
This is for your own good.

Keri Withington is a poet and educator who lives in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. She shares her college office with a fish named Bradbury. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Blue Fifth Review and The Fourth River.


Kellyn Eaddy
Kellyn Eaddy

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