The Politics of Death

          We see it on the box again.
          Seventeen, six, three, eight, twelve.
          They do it live. Fuck it. They do it live.
          It happens in malls; cut to Tom in the field.
          He’s got a mustache that’s going to tell you
          All about how some white male’s life got
          Flipped upside down, and now we’ll have to take a minute,
          Just sit right there, because the station needs to
          Break but we’ll be back on the air.

          They hug the next morning;
          An unknown goodbye.
          The protocol lasts longer than usual.
          Tiny Americans boarding the good ole
          Academic Twinkies toward campuses
          Where people who feel their last shreds
          Of dignity have been torn from them
          Await like shadows. And it will make the news.

          All of it.

          The hugs, the replays, the cop perimeters,
          The fallout, the tears, the retribution ten months
          Later by one of the victim’s longtime friends
          Crossing the finish line of a hard-fought 5k;
          It will all be there because it can.
          Because it doesn’t matter whether or not
          Any of this should be happening,
          It’ll happen because the politics of living generate less revenue
          Than the politics of death.


A 2008 graduate of Kent State University’s English program, Chad W. Lutz has been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Haunted Waters Press, and Sheepshead Review. Chad still balls hard in his hometown of Stow and currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource site. He also manages an online magazine called AltOhio. Chad runs competitively, aspiring to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
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