Sunday Poem

You’re So Paranoid

……….. —for José

A wall of cops moves like a wall of water on a barge no beauty.
A wall of iron swallows the woman who falls to the ground and keeps
falling. There’s a video. The picture stays intact (again).
………. It’s not pretty, meaning it’s hard to watch.
When a poet says we have to keep our eyes open I know who he’s talking to
I don’t listen. I listen long enough to hate him.
If I say the woman dragged by her hair.
If I compare it.

I witnessed meaning stood by the window meaning shuddered let
hand fall gently over lips pulled coat tight tighter.
A wall of cops bucks like a frightened boar. (If I describe it.)
Will it speak. If I say it came furtive and dressed in red.
………. The cops think cop thoughts.
………. The cops move.
They walk like
a walk. Like an economy which after all is a fairy
bucking with hunger. Not pretty. Not picture.
I follow the border patrol agent through the airport thinking
fast thoughts bloodfast blood hound steps he buys
a burrito. If I say he stood alive in line
and my friends are afraid to leave their bathrooms my friends
who I love and love and. My friends who eat
from plates who plug cords into machines for singing.
(If I say a wall of men standing on my friends’ necks.) (If I describe it.)
My friends. Who slice plums illegally on soccer fields. Whose knees
move like knees into the grass. If I name the grass.
If I call sweet liquor and smoke
(if I say cloy).
If the child shrieks
as she’s swung if the sun if August if blue juice
will it talk.                The cops are thinking cop thoughts.
They move. With a wall    inside them. Answering
machines answering.
The window rattles and I fall to my real knees.
If I hoist my friends up so they can be seen (by whom).
If I say they are beautiful if I compare if the sun.
Touches the glass and I feel it.
………. I try to hear the border patrol agent order his food. I listen
………. long enough then walk. To my gate. I feel ashamed
and put it in my sleeve and later I make (it a picture like everything).
The wall moves like. A fairy like a
woman. Through an airport like. A wall.
If I say I watched the woman brought down by her hair and watched
the woman cry and cried. If the storm skips my door again.
If I leave to kill another goat. If I promise my crop if I paint
the wall up and down in sacred Ws if I make it. Any color.
Will someone put it in her mouth. If I close my eyes. Imagine it.
If I imagine it. If I think of something to say.
The cop speaks and I call a plum into his mouth it doesn’t shut him up.
The cop kneels in the grass below my friends, my friends
crowned with August and salt. My marigold my wave.
They laugh like a branch laughs. They make machines for singing.
………. If I say a palm in the small of the back.
………. If I say sun-warmed glass.
………. If I say sun-glass breaking     open the gate

by Franny Choi
from Split This Rock