Robert Okaji lives in Texas with his wife, two dogs and some books. He is the author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press), a micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls (Origami Poems Project), and The Circumference of Other, a chapbook-length piece included in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press). His work has appeared in Boston Review, Prime Number Magazine, riverSedge, High Window, Hermeneutic Chaos, Kindle Magazine, Clade Song, Eclectica and elsewhere.

Robert Okaji

What We Say When We Say Nothing

The rain has died and everything follows: black, white — the law's supposition. Their bodies glisten only in memory. One says look at me from the steel table as the scale registers the heart's weight. Another cries uncertainty in the most certain of circumstances — laid open, emptied then closed, the simple mechanics of ritual and form. Throughout my dreams a line of dark figures shimmer in the cold corridor, end-to-end, supine and unmoving, assigning loss. I have fifty-six years and more questions than answers. The drought testifies to a wrong. A woman visits her son, a father weeps. Our silence, complicit.

Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Freddie Gray. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. Eric Garner and countless others. Do we accept these injustices? Do we speak out? And what does silence imply?

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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