from *prison industrial complex explodes*: By Mercedes Eng

prisoners_justice_eng

A poem from Mercedes Eng’s forthcoming and second book of poetry, prison industrial complex explodes.

 

Carole is a ghost mama

whispering into the ears

of the fertile red nation

 

plant seeds in the ground

and in the womb

ground zero for the revolution

 

 

while Jessi is in belly, before Jessi’s bug eyes can open

Carole shows her the world

 

Carole flies through a sky as big as an ocean

her oil slick hair streaming behind her for eight city blocks

murders of infant crows clutching strands of it

 

she sights the prison holding Jessi’s daddy’s body, mind, and spirit

descends to his window

 

she hears him singing

“I Can’t Get Next to You”

not like the Temptations, like Al Green

lower, lonely, filled with the longing that put Jessi in Carol’s belly

 

to his loves he sings

 

I, oh, I, can turn a gray sky blue

you see, I can make it rain when I want it to

 

to his call she responds

 

I, I can fly like a bird in the sky

 

 

they let out Jessi’s dad when Carole gave birth to her

beautiful Carole, paper bag skin a black waterfall of Pocahontas hair

Jessi was lucky to get a golden halo

 

Jessi’s destatused mama died of the system

they let out Jessi’s dad to look after her

once the price of her mama was extracted

 

Carole reads

in the 2013 Canadian census report that since 2006

the Indigenous population increased

from 3.8% to 4.3% of the colonial nation

and she dances

 

knowing that there are possibly more red children than since contact

knowing there are even more babies, ones who avoided becoming state stats

unregistered babes taken to the woods

knowing this she dances

and she puts her back into it

 

 

Jessi’s mama is

a ghost mama

whispering into the ears

of the fertile red nation

 

plant seeds in the ground

and in the womb

 

 

Carole researches

Group 4 Security (G4S)

the biggest private security group

the third-largest corporation

in the world

 

Carole learns

about G4S regulating prisons in Palestine

regulating security check points in American schools

regulating the US/Mexico border

 

Carole laughs and cries

when she reads on the company’s website:

In more ways than you might realize, G4S is securing your world.

 

Carole weaves

a G4S-resistant security blanket

big enough for all the babes of the red nations

 

then starts weaving a net to capture G4S execs

puts on headphones to speed her work

raps along with Nicki: first things first I’ll eat your brain

 

Jessi’s mama is

a ghost mama

whispering into the ears

of the fertile red nation

 

plant seeds in the ground

and in the womb

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