[Somewhere in Los Angeles] This Poem Is Needed


She charges her ankle bracelet // from the kitchen chair

            & Sunflowers in the white wallpaper [begin to wilt].


I wilt with them // before my sister // & her probation

            Officer [who comes over to the house unannounced].


Just as we are // preparing dinner // & what are we supposed to

            Do now. Cook for him?! Invite him to eat with us??




I am hacking the heads [from broccoli stems] & pretending

            His body is spread across the cutting board. [Ugh].


This officer keeps talking nonsense & nudging his eyes around

            The apartment. Looking for—drugs, alcohol


Alchemy. My sister waits for him to leave & then begins to rant.

            Ramble about // her childhood // & how she used to be


[Before house arrest]. The confines of these plastered walls

            & Her monitored route to work // where


Every corner has a cop [coddling a liquor store]. Protecting their

            Notion of freedom. // My neighborhood eats fear.




Mothers are getting // handcuffed & harassed. Homes are being

            Crushed [like cigarette butts]. Everyone I know


Hates the racist police & wants a revolution. // But we seldom

            Aim the gun... Have you heard // how the bullets


Sing their anthem // throughout the body?? // It sounds like

            God shutting the door— Bang. Bang.




When it’s dinnertime in heaven [& your officer’s knocking]

            Ignore him sister— let the door bruise.


[Let the bears devour our enemies]. We have no obligation

            To open // ourselves // for those who do us harm.




Found In Volume 45, No. 01
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  • loma
About the Author

Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a queer Latina punk poet and prison abolitionist.  They are currently curating Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color in collaboration with The Lambda Literary Foundation. They have work published in Columbia: A Journal, MiPOesias, Apogee Journal and more.