Becoming criminal

                                                                 we let it slide
                   when you said we couldn’t turn left
at that junction
                                       and we couldn’t turn right
                                                                 we let it slide
when you picked us up for walking on the high-
                way and again, for walking on the side-
                                                    walk. We let it slide when
you hit us
       with a                                                   fine. Fine,
                                                                 we let it slide
when we got beaten
                                shitless and you stood idly by,
when you caught the thief
                             and offered us the once-in-a-life-
            time chance to beat
                                                   him as he stood tied
                                                helpless. We let it slide,
                                     turned our eyes inside-blind
                       when you made our little sister cry
burnt tears,
                                                    blood, we let it slide
               when you held our brother
   by the throat
until he choked
out                                                                  and died.
                                                                We let it slide
                                                 when we finally tried
to make a sound but
                   you had each other’s back      and lied.
                                                                We let it slide.
Even now                                              we let it slide.
                                                           But who am I
                                                                  to complain? I knew
                                                       your state of mind, I knew
                                                your pre-cleared crimes
when I gave
you the job.



Roy Duffield

Roy Duffield is a writer, poet and translator from the working class, and an editor over at Anti-Heroin Chic, a journal that puts those on the outside inside. He is a winner of the Robert Allen Micropoem Contest (2021), was honoured to be chosen to read his work at the 2019 Beat Literary Festival in Barcelona, and his words have recently been spotted entering such nefarious establishments as Into the VoidUntitled: Voices, Flights, and The London Reader's issue on Counterculture. Roy recommends EMERGENCY.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, October 9, 2022 - 22:09