Outsourcing

[Content warning: violence, state violence, police killings of Black women]

Kayla Moore. Say her name.

Why are police ever called for mental health checks?
Why do we think the police can do anything helpful —
they aren’t healthcare professionals.
It’s like calling a chef when I need a plumber.

Why do we think the police and do anything helpful —
mental illness isn’t a law enforcement issue.
It’s like calling a chef when I need a plumber.
using a hammer when I need a Q-tip.

Mental illness isn’t a law enforcement issue.
Kayla Moore needed help, needed care,
but, like using a hammer when I need a Q-tip,
we’ve outsourced healthcare to the police.

Kayla Moore a trans woman, needed help, care.
She didn’t need to be misgendered then suffocated by the cops,
but we’ve outsourced healthcare to the police,
picking up the hammer instead of the Q-tip.

Kayla was misgendered, insulted, suffocated —
in what world does that sound like help, like care?
We took up the bludgeon instead of the Q-tip,
and got exactly the result we could have expected.

In what world does violent murder sound like help?
It’s the world we made Kayla Moore live and die in.
Exactly the result we could have expected,
this world — our world — this hell we endorse daily.

This is the world we made Kayla Moore live and die in.
She deserved better than us, better from us.
Better than this hell we endorse daily.
better than eight officers suffocating her to death.

This world, where violent murder is substituted for care.


Pantoum — A poem of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the next stanza. The final line can be a repeat of the first line of the poem.

Say Her Name — A movement calling attention to police violence against Black women, girls and femmes. Fill the void. Lift your voice. Say her name.


It’s National Poetry Month! Every April for almost the full life of this blog, I have taken on the challenge of writing a poem a day. A year or so in, I upped the ante ton the challenge and decided to choose a specific poetry form each year and write that form for the month — 30 tanka, 30 rhyme royals, etc. It’s been a hard slog most years, as I struggle mightily with writing poetry, with feeling “allowed” to try writing poetry. So why make it harder by adding onto the base 30/30 challenge? Well, that’s kind of who I am, isn’t it? I continue.

napomo 1

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