—in memory of
Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance,
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor,
Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney,
Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.,
Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson
Shot and killed while at church.
Charleston, SC (6-18-2015), RIP


                           poem by     poem
we can end the violence
every day                     after
              every other day

9 killed in Charleston, South Carolina
they are not 9 they
are each one
we do not know

              you have a poem to offer
it is made of action—you must
search for it         run

outside and give your life to it
when you find it     walk it
back—blow upon it

carry it taller than the city where you live
when the blood come down
do not ask          if

              it is your blood   it
is made of
              9            drops
                           honor them
wash them stop them
from falling

From Notes on the Assemblage (City Lights, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Juan Felipe Herrera. Used with permission of City Lights Publishers.