there are words that make a difference to people — say “violence,”
watch faces change as people open their thinking to “violence.”
some folks will see there a burning body and say, this is violence.
some folks will see there a court of justice and say, this is violence.
a brick falling from a facade into the street? some say, violence.
a brick falling from a facade into the street? some say, no violence.
there’s a blue knee on a black neck over there. that is violence.
blue knee on a black neck right here, though? law and order, not violence.
history red in a flag, holy red on sacred ground, memorial red in a poppy: our violence.
vile red in a word, terror red on a street corner, spilled red on a tossed-off shirt: their violence.
ceremonial planes built for war overhead in formation? call it a tribute, not violence.
war planes over a neighborhood? think first of profit, not violence.
did you imagine when this began that it would end in something other than violence?
you see in our beginning how it led us here to this smoke, these hands, this violence.
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