The Killing Field By Athena Dixon

The Killing Field

for Samira and Tamir Rice

How then do you to expect her to live
next to this fertile ground? This red clay, blood
crimson, nourished earth with her son grown
as root and weed and blossom still tender and green?

Now rotting.

So instead she removes herself. Ends the planting
season which saw her planted in grief/in place/in stasis/
a star exploding unto itself until a black hole is all that’s left. She
is a constellation. Then connect the dots between

child and suspect
man and boy.

Mere seconds before eternity.
Until the blood spilled in the field.
Until she could see nothing of snow.
Nothing but white
noise and scream and tackle and blood and cuffs
and white and snow and cold and home and fear
and black and star and then

explosion.

By Athena Dixon

Biography:

Athena Dixon is Founder and Editor in Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in Compose, Pluck!, This!, Blackberry: A Magazine, and For Harriet among others.

She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.

Ornithology By Athena Dixon

Ornithology

for Sandra Bland

They say in the mugshot
you are dead. That you are lying
on the floor, your hair spread down-
ward. Your collarbone swollen.

Your eyes vacant.

That the curve of your body is arching
from the utilitarian grey. That you
are another cause for war.

We tell the world to speak your name.

But there are others who see your wings.
A black beating, building beneath the distance
in your eyes. A moment from breaking the shocking
orange swallowing your sallow skin.

And for the tiredness of death we don’t want
to believe in the stiffness of your body being moved
to position. Because the truth can never be that cruel.
And even at the far edges of life there has to be some
fairness. Because even nightmares are dreams and believing
this cruelty is nothing short of madness.
Is nothing short of normal.

So we believe in the power of flight and in the shifting
of your body to bird.

A starling iridescent.

By Athena Dixon

Biography:

Athena Dixon is Founder and Editor in Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Her poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in Compose, Pluck!, This!, Blackberry: A Magazine, and For Harriet among others.

She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia.

 

Baltimore By Alex Dang

Baltimore 

I don’t know what you
expected would happen.

Drop a glass on the floor and it breaks.
Put fire to paper and it burns.
Fall and a stranger offers a hand.
Cause and effect.
Action and reaction.

Hands have been kept
up in the air for so long
that you forgot that they
can come down and
push back.

By Alex Dang

Biography:

Alex Dang is a member of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Portland Poetry Slam Team competing at the National Poetry Slam and the youngest representative from Portland in the slam’s history. Alex is the Eugene Grand Slam Champion of 2014 and 2015. Videos of his performances have amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube. He has been a speaker at two TEDx events: TEDxReno and TEDxUOregon. A nationally touring poet, Alex has performed in over 35 cities, 20 states, and is a world renowned burger expert.

White Privilege By Lindsey Hobart

White Privilege

We wake up.
We go to work.
We come home.
We turn on the news.
We sit in silence,
reading the headlines:
Ferguson.
New York City.
Baltimore.
Charleston.
We turn off the TV.
We go to bed.

That is white privilege.

Here’s
a joke:
A muslim walks into a bar.
What’s he called?
A terrorist.
But here’s the punchline a
white man walks into a church,
kills nine,
and we blame it on his mind.
We forget our nation was built
on the backs our ancestors broke.
We say, “THIS IS NOT AMERICA,”
while waving a Confederate flag,
but do you remember Apartheid?
They always bring up the Holocaust,
but nobody ever looks around and says,
“This. This is genocide.”

We wake up.
We go to work.
We come home.
We turn on the TV.
We turn our heads.
We look away.
We say, “This is not us.
That is not who I am.”

We forget
about the blood
on our hands.

By Lindsey Hobart

Biography:

Lindsey Hobart is a seventeen year-old poet from a New York town that’s as quiet as her voice. Her work has been featured in Canvas Lit and she is a winning Slam Poet.