Whose Justice Makes It Mine?

You’d have to cut truce
outta these urban bonds
between men whose friends
are needle points and miscalculated anger
punched into brick
some opportunist dick built
to cage a generation’s worth
of humanity profiled by race
of differences differentiated only by intellectuals
whose worth makes it their while
to textbook the reason
why poor people gotta be destined to this shit
and hating their own similarities
to those desperate or gettin’ there
with a planned pride and shame
some do-good-er might call an adjustment to the law
or time taking its time
to set free an already free mind.

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018, Indolent Books) and editor of the forthcoming anthology What Keeps us Here: Songs from The Other Side of Trauma. In 2016 he founded the online literary arts and music journal Anti-Heroin Chic to provide a platform for often unheard voices, including those struggling with addiction, mental illness and Prison/confinement. He resides in upstate New York, in between balanced rocks and horse farms. He has never believed in anything as strongly as he does the power of poetry to help heal a shattered life. Read other articles by James.