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Dear Spectators,

By Denise Miller From Issue No. 2

You will need a context for viewing— so
first, consider the noose, that birthmarked

ligature that brailled brown eyes use to scan
images— retinas trace postcarded necks of bodies

born brown then noosed, born brown then picnic
blackened, born brown & then trophied

into ear or penis or vagina or tongue—
born brown & biologied into body

cam-ed bodies born brown then bulleted, born
brown then broken, born brown then bent—

born brown then esophagus-threaded through handcuff
born brown then bracketed by [hashtag & period].

Then period turns to question marked silhouette— her
2015 body, hangs— her standing kneel, bracketed by bars

looks so much like pause between prayer & dancing—
looks so much like a 1913 3 & ¼ by 5 cardboarded brown

body with soul smoking skyward, looks so much like alive,
soaked in coal oil before being set on fire— this reverse alchemy

a living brown body, all slick & shine then, dissolution—
a not-so mysterious transmuting, bone to blood to ash— &

2015 and 16 look so much like 1910—
See the silhouetted corpses of African Americans shot

from a 1920 Kodak, shot on a 1982 Sony, shot on a 2015
dash cam, shot on a 2016 body cam.

                            or dragged
                                         or tased
                                                      or cuffed
                                                                     or pounded against

these bodies born brown then catapulted into
lifeless silent film stars— surrounded by spectators.

About Denise Miller More From Issue No. 2