The Politics of Death

 We see it on the box again.
Seventeen, six, three, eight, twelve.
They do it live. Fuck it. They do it live.
It happens in malls; cut to Tom in the field.
He's got a mustache that's going to tell you
All about how some white male's life got
Flipped upside down, and now we'll have to take a minute,
Just sit right there, because the station needs to
Break but we'll be back on the air.

 They hug the next morning;
An unknown goodbye.
The protocol lasts longer than usual.
Tiny Americans boarding the good ole
Academic Twinkies toward campuses
Where people who feel their last shreds
Of dignity have been torn from them
Await like shadows. And it will make the news.  

All of it.

The hugs, the replays, the cop perimeters,
The fallout, the tears, the retribution ten months
Later by one of the victim's longtime friends
Crossing the finish line of a hard-fought 5k;
It will all be there because it can.
Because it doesn't matter whether or not
Any of this should be happening,
It'll happen because the politics of living generate less revenue
Than the politics of death.

Chad W. Lutz was born in Akron, and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. He's a 2008 graduate of Kent State University's English program, and his writing has been featured in Diverse Voices QuarterlyKind of a Hurricane PressHaunted Waters Press, and Sheepshead Review. Chad still balls hard in his hometown of Stow, and currently works in North Canton writing content for an online job resource site. He also manages an online magazine called AltOhio. Chad runs competitively, and won the Lake Wobegon Marathon in May 2015, setting the course record by nearly three minutes in a time of 2:33:59. He aspires to qualify for the Olympic Trials.