Critical Mass

Critical Mass
(for justin and pierre)

There was anger outside of saint marks church
The day Pierre died
Bikes hung from every steeple
People littered streets with empty cups
It was September and my naked heart fell
Down the perennial well.

We’d sought hope and we harnessed it
Down at the Center
Collected the numbers hovering close to the ground
Cut our hair into brushes to dip in the soot
And drew zeros all over our foreheads—

But I’ve been impressed on the sidewalk
Since June
My old man keeps rifles, now, in with the spoons
The boys hide their faces and grow out their beards
And curse the war years.

And my heart’s in the water
Looking for my friends
While these stubborn men stand on the ashen blue plans
For a fat, lonely country and a little oil land
The right ones who grip on their crosses like triggers
Just nod at the sheepdogs
And sleep by their windows
And wait for September again…

[copyright Taylor Roberts, 2004]

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Critical Mass Arrests of 2004 amid the RNC

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