White eyes hard on black
pinned bloodshot to the screen
riots where an oriole ought swing
derisive laughter over jukebox music
I Heard it through the Grapevine
Marvin Gaye sings it to them
hunched over the bartop
arms defensively crossed
in a posture of fear
fight or white flight
from their stool perch they watch
critical doves lined on the wire
gaze hotly down on the crime
stones by sinners cast
cars in flames
smoldering ruins
cops in retreat
broken spines and rough rides
in a city likewise
and broken, disgraced
live seppuku committed on TV
for the audience
to cheer and condemn
in one foul breath
in lieu of fowl balls
just another game
sports-cast, murder-cast, under-caste
the men upturn their Budweisers and drink
like thugs, like animals, like rats


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