Sean Thomas Dougherty

Issue No. 9  •  April 2013

Jorge’s  Uncle was sent upstate.  He wore baroque suits all super fly and slash.   He was sent upstate to join Willie and Ramone, and Yusuf, and Win, they didn’t get commuted or parole, or dismissal or more than a glance, and they are gone.  These litanies we carry I wonder if they are even names.   Jorge’s father was shot down in PR.   Two keys to two doors to two hallways.  That’s always the catch.  A bullet in the crotch, or the chest, at least he was found.  The worst are the disappeared. Another decade, another crew  another coffin and the fields are dandelions with the wasted wishes blown by autumn, children write the names of the gone in graffiti on school yard walls the state washes away, punk kids in Docs  smoking Menthols,   Pussy Riot  one shouts and raises a fist, the minor gulags we carry in our chests we want to claim, on the bus,  blowing a Xanax while riding beneath the Bridge and bowing with wind the East River what is left on Avenue B like  a wedding march, smoking weed.  Raise your glass.  A voice is rising.   A sound more hunger than kindness.  In a city where no one looked at one another.  I pray for a  voice more hungry with kindness than alone—