Days of Protest

We will smash the world
We will thunder…

Roses and dreams
Debased by poets
Will unfurl…
— The 150, 000, 000, Mayakovski.

We will not disappear.
like her birth name
like his dead letters
buried inside a sheaf
after a flash rain…

We will not disappear.


Death yawns stately.
Death conjoins us.
— whether we make music
noise, love, or bourgeoisie war.
Free assembly and funeral
rites, these days, symbiotic, interchangeable.

Siren sounds. We will not disappear


xxxxx we proceed like marionettes
carried along on one string
crowds of selfsame mouths
our tongues chant now in unison
the pitch like a cracked accordion
then canticle is cant
and cry.

xxxxxxxxxxx and the dead also
They will not disappear.


Death conjoins us. The streets
indigenously compel us
whether we lay down
and recharge
screaming at planned events
protests marches
and vigils
have become
intermarried, like a sexual transgression

Death conjoins us


Death pulls back the curtain.

Public war,
like private mourning,
pulls back the curtain.
An old law is a heavy sigh.
Its retellings, latchkey shibboleth xxxx blood nurses grief,
grief nurses war,

and what else is changed to soldiers and mourners?


We wear hoodies and chains
— hoodies, sneakers, jerseys, chains;
lining the streets carrying placards,
and loudspeakers
amplifying x Trayvon xx Breonna
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx EricGarnerFreddieGreyPhilandoCastle
xx like aggravated parlor ghosts
And sound systems reify the abstractions:
let the crowds inspire regardless
belief in eternal succession…


– then we seize the streets.

then we seize the streets at noon and night
but dispassionately challenge
standard badges of the numinous state;
officers in bright-dark svelte glasses breaking
past the front lines berate us.

The blue lines aggress.

– but we seize the streets at night


We amplify. We reify.

xxxx — we amplify using cost efficient
instruments of bulbs, amps, wattage;
cackle and hum breaks daylight monotony
then we seize the streets at noon and night
like visionary candlewicks afloat on
sea and surge. But the sea will never

xxxxx swallow the candles: burning brightly!


And amplify. And reify
flesh of my physical atrophy
death’s indigenous people
shortchanged before destruction…
who will not disappear
like her birth name
like his dead letters
after a flash rain…



Darryl Lorenzo Wellington is the 2021-2023 Poet Laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico. His 2017 chapbook, Life’s Prisoners, received the Turtle Island Quarterly chapbook prize. His full-length collection is Psalms at the Present Time, published in 2021 by Flowstone Press. Wellington has dedicated his Poet Laureate term to highlighting poetry dealing with oppression, cultural division , and historical trauma. The poem ” Days of Protest” is a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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