“we’d like to propose—”

A Poem by Evie Shockley

October 28, 2020  By Evie Shockley

our daily peaceful multiracial black-lives-interrupted-by-guns-
(& all black lives)-matter protest was interrupted by a gun

our congresswoman’s meet-the-people-where-they’re-at supermarket
parking lot gab-fest in the southwest was interrupted by a—💥

our intimate-but-open-hearted-in-mother’s-embrace wednesday
evening services prayer request was interrupted by—💥💥

our gatherings in the tree-of-life’s-upper-&-lower-branches
observing the holy day of rest, were interrupted—💥💥💥

our senior year of high school, warm-mid-winter-in-the-park-
land, o-beautiful-american history test was—💥💥💥💥

our dorm-life, campus-green, blooming-in-classrooms-where-

our weekly hot scene, our night-to-ride-the-latin-pulse, hip-
gripped, zest-sipped, drag-dressed,—💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥

our calendar—january 1st to new year’s eve—is shot, riddled (why??)
with death. every solution we suggest is interrupted by— 💥 (again…)


This poem is excerpted from Adi’s new issue Policy Recommendations: Poets Intervene, which launches Thursday, October 29th. Excerpted with the permission of Adi.

Evie Shockley
Evie Shockley
Evie Shockley is a poet and scholar. Her most recent poetry collections are the new black (Wesleyan, 2011) and semiautomatic (Wesleyan, 2017); both won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the latter was a finalist for the Pulitzer and LA Times Book Prizes. She has received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Cave Canem. Shockley is Professor of English at Rutgers University.

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