Steven D. Stark

It’s utterly impossible,
(the police captain said)
to safeguard a city
without locking it down.
When even a shoplifter
(not to mention a bomber)
can stroll through the streets
or grab some green groceries
or leave gum on the sidewalk,
the war against evil
will never be won.
Imagine if you can
an alleged suspect
(we typically use jargon)
riding public transportation
because he doesn’t own
(nor has stolen)
a jeep or a Chevy
or an old Buick sedan
that says “POLICE” on the side
(like my motor vehicle).
Yet somehow we’re expected
to approach “persons of interest”
and at least ask them some questions
with no show of force.
I heard the chief say,
“A good metropolis is an empty metropolis,”
neutron-beaten to a standstill,
like Hiroshima in Japan
August 7 ’45.
Or maybe back in
where the law is the law
and you just do
what you have to do
in peace
and relative quiet.

 Lockdown – Steven Stark

Steven D Stark‘s  fiction and poetry have recently been published (or will be) in 3 am, Litn’Image, Mudlark, McSweeney’s, The Cafe Review, HOOT, Otoliths, Mobius, fleeting, and, among others, Clapboard House, where he won the short story prize. He lives in the Boston area where he was locked down, along with a million of his neighbors, while the police searched for the Marathon bombing suspect.

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