From the current issue, Issue 70, comes a poem from Christopher Soto.
Two hundred Indian women killed their rapist on the courtroom floor of Nagpur in 2004. When Police tried to arrest lead perpetrators // the women responded “arrest us all.”
In this windowless room // where he poured acid & stole money // arrest us all
In this windowless room [shut like the gut of an ox] arrest us all
Gored & gorge are words to describe a wound Gorgeous // the opening
Of a blade inside his chest Gorgeous // black galaxies, growing
Across his skin, we threw rocks & chili pepper
Arrest us all
On the railroad tracks // where he murdered our sisters & left their dead bodies
On the railroad tracks // where black ants began // biting crowns into
Calves // The world is spinning and we’re // falling from its bed
How could we mourn? He kept killing // & threatening // & raping us
Arrest us all On the red puddle // on the white courthouse floor
Arrest us all We sawed his penis off // & tore his house // to rubble
Look // the streets are swarming // in protests [welcome home]
The night is neon & buzzing like bumblebees
We never wanted to kill // only to stay alive // &
We waited like virgins // for the gentleness of strangers // to help or empathize.
Christopher Soto aka Loma is a poet based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently working on a poetry manuscript about mass incarceration. For more information visit christophersoto-poet.com.