by Nishat Ahmed

As if I need one, as if
They need to tell me
Again. After shootings
In broad daylight. Screenings
Through security. Stop and frisked
For a little extra
Melanin in the skin.
After watching stories unfold of
Teenage boys and girls jumping
Off bridges, plunging into rivers
Thinking the entire world’s weight
Worked to grind their bodies
Whittle away at their belief.
Bricks shattering windows
Spray-paint shattering hope
As if they need to tell me again

But they did,
So simply. The grinding
Of pencil to prescribed circle
On a piece of paper; the dropping
Of that paper into a box,
Reminding me this
Country was never ours,
Will never be.



Nishat Ahmed is currently a first year MFA Poetry Candidate at Old Dominion University and the author of the poetry collection “Ghosts In Bloom.” When he’s not listening to music of the pop punk persuasion and consuming copious amounts of Chipotle, he enjoys biking through town meeting new people to give him inspiration, and also to make fun of.

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