don't die press

3 poems

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New poetry by Christine Moretto Wishnoff


A chalk message
Spells out contention,
#BLM on SF retaining wall
Tempered lines of white control.
Where is the outrage
When chalk lines go DOA?
A child’s fairytale:
All will end well
Outlined in rainbow.
Disturbance on private property
When barbarism holds the lease.
Respectable racism
Maligns with good intention.
All the shades of brown and black
Moved to the back of the 64 pack.
Crayola must have had a reason
To make “flesh” a color for all seasons.


Looting as makeshift reparation:
Restoring dignity by break-in.
Plunder in a time of conflict,
Sense of inferiority to evict.
Mere trinkets to compensate
For atonement long held to wait.
Rip open antebellum walls
Sheltering the root cause.
Scant economic progress
Fuels the rush to trespass.
Break thru mirrored glass,
Status stuck in a Jim Crow past.
Steal to visibly aggress
Lack of equitable access.
Engines of capitalism
Rev up the schisms.
Corners calculated for value:
Greater than lives after curfew.
Neighborhoods starved of prosperity
Binge on meals clinched for free.
In a spate of smash and grabs,
Snatch any benefit you can.
Shoes and clothes as tribal totems
In a society that favors owners.
Platform of the angry swarm
Pollinates meaningful reform.
Fire raging in the streets,
Quells with promises in ink.
Take back the endless night,
Pain forcibly hidden from sight.
Ravage fixed inequities,
Not lifeblood of communities.
Loot the many of entitlement
To finish first in every event.
Doctrine of white supremacy:
Cultural narrative must be seized.

War For Hire

War for hire!
Incite the fires,
Grab the spoils
While the nation boils.
Out for their own interests.
Pledge allegiance
To ideological grievance.
In a military zone
There is little regard for home.
Dominate the streets,
Invade protests of peace.
Combat on American soil
Under guise of civil turmoil.
Take advantage of lawlessness
To reinforce autocratic grip.
Chokehold on active resistance:
Subdue with flash bang and tear gas.
The world’s remaining superpower
Gasps from plumes of its own firepower.
Snap judgements of tribulation
Resemble human rights violations.
America loses the moral high ground
When community becomes the battleground.
Dissent is not a menacing enemy,
Rather a system that shields the guilty.
The noble way to right the wrongs
Is stand together and remain strong.
Take a knee and clasp hands,
Solidarity of the common man.
Breathe life into democratic truth:
Justice served in the voting booth.

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