National Poetry Month Day 17: Ashaki Jackson


A Deputy Chief Recommended Dismissal Long AgoDeputy chief


How It Happens


While running from the officer

in full sprint

Carrying an already unpackaged bb gun in an Ohio Walmart

where open-carry is legal

While driving away from an officer during a traffic stop

Jumping on windshields in the night

high as the moon

In a yard beneath an avalanche of blue

While prostrate

During a mental break at home

While handcuffed

Sitting at a park table

hands tucked into pockets

Sliding around the police van floor like loose change

In your holding cell


Sleeping on your grandmother’s couch


After your bachelor party


Seeking rescue after a car accident


Standing in a crowd


–Ashaki Jackson


Ashaki M. Jackson is a social psychologist and poet. She is a Cave Canem alumna whose work appears in CURA, pluck! and Prairie Schooner among others. Writ Large Press published her chapbook, Surveillance, in March 2016. A second chapbook, Language Lesson, is forthcoming from MIEL. She lives in Los Angeles.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →