Still pushing through us

Kenji C. Liu

                  for Sandra Bland


The exactness of the situation. There was or was not a cemetery nearby. The cruiser’s dashcam along the borders of her lowered windows. Motion detected.


She: distributing herself along the bottomlands, highway guarded by trees too thin to be human. A row of telephone poles there and perhaps opposite too.


The trooper’s wound-up machinery digging in her half-moon scars. Witness long horizon and eruptions of deciduous ash, toothy hand of the day recording all accurately but not precisely.


Highway 1098. To turn left or right or around, to pull over, to exit, stay seated, or stand up.


There was or was not a street sign, maybe in the grip of the sky’s alternating green clouds of samara and sun. A short highway fence for someone’s safety.


Spark. Blink. Perhaps she blinked. Perhaps also attempted, did not attempt.


Oversized pick-up trucks roaming without reason. The magnetic eraser of prairie light. To face this feral landscape with only her self.


The loose cluster of the state always editing. The crucial event: a low swinging wind with its video cut.


She: slipping under and beyond the event. With the lit cigarette of her body, refusing to be made into a nothing.


The trooper’s hat, perched low like a dry bloom.


For a traffic signal. Thank you. Thank you for recording.

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