April 26, 2008

Demetria Martínez — “Upon Waking”

Posted in Poetry at 9:00 am by The Lizard Queen

Upon Waking
            for Amadou Diallo, shot 41 times by police officers
            as he reached for his wallet, New York City, 1999

In a dream after your death I stood on the rocky
Shores of an island. Dark-skinned people, young
And old, pressed against boulders as helicopter
Gunships took aim. I cried out at a wall of wind:
“No, stop, they have histories!”—but it was too late.
The soldiers were acting in self-defense
Against the sudden move;
A people firing a round
Of stories that might
Have opened hearts
Locked down as the
Lids of caskets.

—Demetria Martínez, 2002

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Rules of Engagement You Didn’t Believe Me Upon Waking […]


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