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.