Dark Churches” © C. R. Resetarits

In Memory of George Floyd

How does one person kill another? Ask
George Floyd? He could tell you if he was still
Here, but he’s not. He’s gone; they took the breath
From him, then they took the life out of him.
It’s as simple—or complex—as breathing
Or not breathing, and George told the police:
“I can’t breathe!” How does a policeman do
That, kill a human being? Tie him up
In handcuffs behind his back, then shove him
Down on the ground, and put your knee into
His neck at the carotid artery:
Hold for at least eight minutes. Floyd called out
For help, but the police blocked anyone
From trying to help him to stay alive.


Michael Angelo Stephens is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Brooklyn Book of the Dead; the award-winning essay collection Green Dreams; and the memoir Lost in Seoul (Random House). Stephens will shortly publish a collection of prose poems and poetry with MadHat Press, entitled History of Theatre or the Glass of Fashion, about an out of work actor who lands the part of Hamlet.

C. R. Resetarits is a writer and collagist. Her collage art has appeared on the covers and in the pages of dozens of magazines. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.