For Jayland Walker
Again police pull their triggers too soon
Another mother loses her son
Add another Black name to the long-bulleted list
Another name once flesh and blood
Like your own that
Once had a voice
Once asked why
Once laughed and wept with
Understanding and regret
That was human too
Mothers count their slain children at night
They cannot sleep
Silence does not move them to pray and
Sirens do not let them recover from
Their unabated sorrow.
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Arya F. Jenkins
Arya F. Jenkins is a Colombian-American poet and writer whose poems have appeared in many journals and zines, most recently OyeDrum Magazine, Jerry Jazz Musician, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Dissident Voice. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has been widely anthologized. In 2021, her poem “Ruin” was selected as a finalist for the Derick Burleson Poetry Prize by Choeofpleirn Press. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, a short story collection, Blue Songs in an Open Key (Fomite Press, 2018), and a novel, Punk Disco Bohemian (NineStar Press, 2021). Another collection of short stories, Angel in Paris & Other Stories, is due out in 2022.