There Are Black

Topics: Mummy, White people, Russian Civil War Pages: 2 (369 words) Published: August 28, 2013
There Are Black
BY JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA

There are black guards slamming cell gates
on black men,
And brown guards saying hello to brown men
with numbers on their backs,
 And white guards laughing with white cons,
and red guards, few, say nothing to red inmate
as they walk by to chow and cells

There you have it, the little antpile,
convicts marching in straight lines,
guards flying on badged wings,
permits to sting, to glut themselves at the cost
of secluding themselves from their people.
  

Turning off their minds like watertaps
wrapped in gunnysacks that insulate the pipes
carrying the pale weak water to their hearts.

It gets bad when you see these same guards
carrying buckets of blood out of cells,
see them puking at the smell, the people,
their own people slashing their wrists,
hanging themselves with belts from light outlets;
it gets bad to see them clean up the mess,
carry the blue cold body out under sheets,
and then retake their places in guard cages,
watching their people maul and mangle
themselves.

And over this blood-rutted land,
the sun shines, the guards talk of horses and guns,
go to the store and buy new boots,
and the longer they work here the more powerful
they become,
taking on the presence of some ancient mummy,
down in the dungeons of prison,
a mummy that will not listen,
but has a strange power in this dark world,
to be so utterly disgusting in ignorance,
and yet so proudly command so many men.

And the convicts themselves, at the mummy’s
feet, blood-splattered leather, at this one’s feet,
they become cobras sucking life out of their brothers,
they fight for rings and money and drugs,
in this pit of pain their teeth bare fangs,
to fight for what morsels they can. . . .

And the other convicts,
guilty of nothing but their born color,
guilty of being innocent,
they slowly turn to dust in the nightly winds here,
flying in the wind back to their...
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