In Support of Violence

Christopher Soto


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