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Broken 

Broken
is the black body Broken
its name Broken
its fine bones, its dark flesh Broken
the soul into which we peer
(blood pooling, unmoving
over whom some badged bully looms) Broken
the spirit incarcerated
emasculated forgotten Broken
the family without this ______:
(blank) ever absent: Broken
the neighborhood, the barred and shattered windows
the gangs, the bullet always keening and hungry Broken
the word we employ to tell this story. Mere graffiti. Broken
the language that cannot help us
understand        Broken
the eye that watches               Broken
the eye that spins us what to watch               Broken
the leaders who say what the eye
should show, what the eye should see,
what all that must mean        Broken
the machine that says face it this is the only system
everyone must obey               Broken
the words by which we intone this sorry story. Broken
in turn are we who place the wafer of hatred
onto our children’s tongues.               Broken
the children who choke down this lie, knowing no better
than what we insist must be so.

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David Holper

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