For Aramis Ayala

in Culture by

weeks after announcing her boycott of the death penalty, Florida state attorney Aramis Ayala is pulled over by the police

i have pressed my papers into the hands of those who have witnessed my face & refused to acknowledge what shimmer lined my irises & each time, i clenched my breath tightly, waiting for continued permission to wear my body out in the open / but now i know there is such a status of fuck-with-me-not that can be included on a paper that holds your face, that can then grant you the affordance of smirking, invincible, while under the gaze of those who have seen to the killings of your people / this country heard the distant whisper of threat from across the ocean & then pointed its guns at whole continents as a safe measure / & yet you, Aramis / you refused kill in the face of those most adept in its use / you dipped your feet into the jagged tide of the law & let its mud climb to your neck & after learning its uneven cadence, you looked into the death that it so frequently beckoned, placed one finger on its pursed lips & said no



Watch the moment two cops realize they’ve pulled over the state attorney [The Fader]
Aramis Ayala defends death penalty position, asserts budget cut will hit key programs [Florida Politics]
The real injustice wasn’t pulling over Aramis Ayala  [CNN]

Bernard Ferguson is a Bahamian immigrant trying to plant his feet in Minnesota. He has work featured/upcoming in Mizna, FreezeRay, The Santa Ana River Review and Third Point Press, among others. He has a list of favorite poets that he’s eager to share with you.

Latest from Culture



by Saddiq Dzukogi. Mali musician Ballake Sussoko claims his kora was destroyed

Jury Selection

By Akua Lezli Hope. After Weinstein's defense eliminates young white women from

The Pretzel Et Al

By Jane Yolen. A mother is forced to wait behind childless tourists
Go to Top