Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Altars for our living Oakland: Mass shootings

Mass shootings

No one hardly
our children
till they’re shot down on the streets
Desi’s mural
did not ward off
the bullets
or the liquor stores
that blew holes
in the soft bodies of teenagers
and in the livers of hopelessness
Hip hop has one more one less
octosyllabic story
to rhyme
Now not even a street corner altar
No candles
No balloons
No empty bottles of
No photographs
No vigils
Just the ghosts
and their unarmed drive-by cries
The new mayor sends
more police
to push our dead off the sidewalks
into the Santa Rita jail
the school of the future
the resting place of our martyrs-to-be . . .

arnoldo garcĂ­a | January 2023
Image: A wall in Oakland. (A feo photograph; 2021)