Hanging Together in Minnesota

Hanging Together in Minnesota
by michael johnson
Two thousand men on death row
in the state of Texas. I’ve never
been here, still I’m worrying
myself to death.
Webs of worry travel fast,
scan over my memory bank
back and forth like a copy machine.
I refuse to get out of my bed
I’m covered with burnt dream ashes
held in custody my cobwebbed anxiety
sheets waiting for the on looking armed
system of justice to take me away.
Their loud speakers keep screaming channeled
commands through vibrating my eardrums;
their messages keep cross-firing against my own desires.
There must be a warrant out for my arrest.
I will not listen period. I will shut out the sounds period.
Insanity echoes with stressed sounds.
It’s Sunday morning, prayer time, I swear I will block out
the church bells ringing on Franklin Avenue, ringing
at St. Paul’s Baptist Church.
Religion confuses me like poetry or prose.
I curse I will hang where Christ used to dangle;
wooden cross-post in a Roman Catholic hole,
or was it protestant reformation?
I’m the thief, not the Savior.
I don’t want to die in my worry, my words, stranger in this world alone.
I want to resurrect the dream before the wounds came, and placed me in exile.
Long before the sounds of cell phones came ringing.
There must be a warrant out for my arrest.
Mixed in war, thunder, and sentence fragment.

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