Poem of the Week: Reasons Why Brown People Get Arrested by Christopher Soto

1. The tulips died.

2. Saturn lost her rings.

3. Something about driving // or moving at all.

4. We crossed the border.

5. [On the land you stole].

6. God is poor, trans, & being evicted.

7. When you go to church // I call it gentrification.

8. The moon was hole-punched sky.

9. Shooting stars on Myrtle Ave.

10. [She drowned in white tears].

11. When I crumple a note it beats, like a heart, in my hands.

12. What is an impound lot?

13. If not a place to crush memory.

14. He was running down the block.

15. & you expected to see police following.

16. [Can’t a brown boy exercise in peace]?

17. I’m always running.

18. I’m always running.

19. I’m always running.

20. She drank from the wrong fountain.

21. She spat [loogies] the size of mangos.

22. Her hair choked the sink.

23. The light bulbs burst out in pain.

24. The wind whipped his back.

25. A shout punctured the sky.

26. [I only write about pain].

27. But sometimes // this world is so gorgeous

28. & I want to live forever.

29. I read the etymology of arrest.

30. Arrest (v.) — from Old French arester “to stay, to stop.”

31. When he kissed me, I was arrested.

32. [My heart in handcuffs].

33. Pockets searched for contraband.


35. [nigga]

36. You know what he wanted to call you.

37. Brown as the dirt.

38. Brown as the bark.

39. [White is the color of nothingness].

40. Blank white stare.

41. Blank white face.

42. Blank white apology.

43. I see nothing in you.

44. Nothing.
*Originally published in The Feminist Wire*

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