Broken is the black body Broken its name Broken its fine bones, its dark flesh Broken the soul into which we peer (blood pooling, unmoving over whom some badged bully looms) Broken the spirit incarcerated emasculated forgotten Broken the family without this ______: (blank) ever absent: Broken the neighborhood, the barred and shattered windows the gangs, the bullet always keening and hungry Broken the word we employ to tell this story. Mere graffiti. Broken the language that cannot help us understand Broken the eye that watches Broken the eye that spins us what to watch Broken the leaders who say what the eye should show, what the eye should see, what all that must mean Broken the machine that says face it this is the only system everyone must obey Broken the words by which we intone this sorry story. Broken in turn are we who place the wafer of hatred onto our children’s tongues. Broken the children who choke down this lie, knowing no better than what we insist must be so.