tell us what reform does…

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Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by Amara Enyia’s commentary, Chicago must defund—not just reform—the police. For more poetry in this series, click here.

is the eradication of the supreme not what we need?

Shot from their barrels to pierce the brown skins of our backs

as our wallets bleed green waste to keep their houses warm and

their babies fed.

Our babies dead.

AcE Gold

They win from our decayed flesh all the same.

For capital

And greed.

For supremacy

And terror.

The fear is painted across the cracked pavement underneath our feet. How many times have we walked over dried blood without knowing?

*

I take the scenic route from the Garfield Green Line on my way home then I pass the brownish green grass sitting at the corner of Garfield and Indiana and And i remember the life lost here |Dequrion Goodwin| and i remember |Shaniyah Brown| gone just around the corner then i remember the funeral shooting

In Gresham as patrol cars sat around the corner.

*

Too busy drinking stale coffee behind Ford’s wheel and listening to delayed scanners Provided by the money barely dripping from our pockets.

15 bodies hit the ground.

*

They say our violence unstoppable… dreadful then

In the same breath,

We need more of J. Edgar Hoover’s grandsons patrolling our streets To stop us, to beat us, to kill us, but

Not to serve us.

It’s always us “grappling with rising violence” and never—

*

The blood of the lamb is the juice of the fruit

And we drink from both their flesh all the same.

For sustenance

And deliverance

For freedom

And revolution.

The resistance exists for what is taken and not given

And we burn down the pillars linking our chains evermore.

So that chains become vines tattooed into our Black skin once

The abolition settles in our bellies and our minds no longer

Breed hopelessness and despair from our wombs,

But we give birth to transformation, healing, and unequivocal (uninterrupted) power: tell us what keeps us safe so we can correct you.

AcE Gold writes poems about home, mental (in)stability, love, and Blackness. She hails from southern Black single mothership and village care from the East end of Ruston, Louisiana to PG County, Maryland and then down to southern Maryland. With South Side Chicago being her home now, she activates both performance and social spaces as a curator and movement artist as Aaliyah Christina. She has contributed to Young Chicago Authors’ 2019 Queeriosity zine, Performance Response Journal (as Aaliyah Christina), and the Dance Center of Columbia College Writers’ Cohort Blog (as Aaliyah Christina).