to Pamela Turner and her unborn child by Monica Robinson

august 2020

Pamela Turner was shot and killed in her own apartment complex by her neighbor, a Houston police officer, in May of 2019. The officer, who had previously tried to arrest Turner without probable cause, was placed on paid leave. From the civil case attorney: “She was a lady who had mental health issues. What she needed was a helping hand from the police officer. Instead, she got five bullets." (The quotes are from Turner’s sister of hers and Turner’s father.) - from CBS News

he is waiting

death is a parasite, moving to leech from the space that life just left, in its own familiar neighborhood.  death does not pay rent. its dues are paid, on the first of the month, in a rage-soaked bullet –  no, round. emptied,

for you

it is easy to avoid guilt in a faceless victim. this is why I once swore I would die on a hill with eyes wide open. strangers assure us that everyone is guilty of something. I am guilty of silence. they say you are guilty of lying; this, a report from the false lips of known liars.  we are, none of us, huddled together and holding one another, guilty of murder.

to look him in the face

murderers, all. I hope the soles of those boots taste strongly enough to digest the afterthought of blood money; the money that buys groceries no one else can afford with their paychecks not paid for in human lives.

“so he can ask you ‘why’?”