Poem by Poem by Juan Felipe Herrera

—in memory of
Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance,
Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor,
Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney,
Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.,
Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson
Shot and killed while at church.
Charleston, SC (6-18-2015), RIP

poem by poem
we can end the violence
every day after
every other day
9 killed in Charleston, South Carolina
they are not 9 they
are each one
we do not know
you have a poem to offer
it is made of action—you must
search for it run
outside and give your life to it
when you find it walk it
back—blow upon it
carry it taller than the city where you live
when the blood comes down
do not ask if
it is your blood it
is made of
9 drops
honor them
wash them stop them
from falling

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