Ms. Bland

                                 After: Mr. Bleaney by: Philip Larkin

“This was Ms. Bland’s cell. She stayed
the whole time she was alive, till
they found her.” Concrete walls, hard and cold,
wrapped around three sides of the room.

The fourth holds a door with a low window,
a wall, bare. “Ms. Bland took
Our trash bags and made a noose.”
Partition, upright body, slightly limp, no breath

From the lungs, no camera to witness the act—
“Self-inflicted.” She was not the first to die
What was her crime, not willing to comply
To demands of an officer to get out, why

He felt the need to force her to the ground—
Like the young girl was: the McKinney girl
Who wore only a bikini in the summer heat,
At the pool party in a friend’s community.

—Siedah Thomas

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