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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Poem Inspired by "A Time to Kill" at Desiderio's

You Look at the Crime and You Look at the Criminal

By Justin Karcher

On a day like today

the sun shoots into America’s chest

and turns her heart

into a courtroom

when we’re at our worst

we always feel

like there’s something to prove

sometimes there’s too much fire

on our tongues

and it’s tough to tell

right from wrong

cigarette holes on motel bibles

even when we’re at our best

we still kinda act like liars

America’s heart isn’t just a courtroom

bursting into flames

it’s also a time traveling grave

whenever we think we’re touching the future

it pulls us into the past

land of trees, which are more like tumors

gossip meets gospel, the air a hateful podcast

yet we do what we can, enforce justice

love one another, try to eradicate the numbness

punish the wicked, poke holes in cloud cover

find stars that shine, open your ears and listen

cuz there’s music out there, songs to honor victims

it’s a beautiful dream, but reality is harsh

cruel and ugly, the murderer in a moonbeam

then the righteous lawyers

sleeping in bombed-out houses

then the angry fathers punching walls

and wanting knockouts

then the crooked cops

pretending they’re frostbitten scarecrows

then the weeping mothers

burying their children in the rotten afterglow

oh, what a world that we call home

permanently unhealthy like Styrofoam

practice goodness anyway you can

or else no more ocean for the fisherman


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