Creative / Poetry


By John Murillo III

“It’s just a movie”
or, “It’s just a book”
or, “It’s just fiction”

It was just a bag of skittles,
and it was just a wallet,
and it was just loud music,
and they were just playing outside in the yard,
and she was just sleeping on the couch while her dad was in the other room,
and she was just trying to buy a bottle of orange juice,
and he was just laying facedown on the ground at the BART stop,
and she just wanted someone to give her the medical treatment she paid for,
and she and he and they and I was just born,
and they and them and we just wanted freedom,
and we’s just black
and this just a poem
and these just words
and they just dead


There’s nothing benign
About these dark masses–
About the darkness of these dark masses
Dark blotches, black holes,
More dark than blotch, more black than hole, so–
Rather, there’s nothing benign
About blackness in the world’s body,
It darkens its mind, eclipses its soul,
The world wants, needs treatment,
Panel 1: Swallow the pill.
Panel 2: Read the book.
Panel 3: Meditate.

And yet the black bodies but shrink,
Or some fall, or some fade, or some acquiesce,
Explode outward again
Medicine, again, remission–
Cipher keep moving like a rolling stone

This is the World as World,
World being World,
Surviving, persistent, resilient,
Devouring light to banish the dark,
Banish the dark to heal

and she and he and they and I was just born,
and we’s just black,
and they healing, and, so,
we just


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