A riddle: how many humans equal one
taking a life through the hands of the law?
Weight placed on the
scales of justice before one side sinks
like a stone in Lake Texoma.
even with skin white as bread and butter
I’ve felt the looks. You know,
the looks like worms that bore through
you when they run their eyes from your
head to feet. You know
what I’m talking about.
Now consider the black man who enters
a bank while
the white woman from behind
the desk pantomimes a
crucifix on her chest.
Consider being black in a neighborhood being disabled in a school being Latinx in a yard being
And that look is always waiting
on the other side of at least 12
doorways, flapping its lips and
whispering through the
keyhole, you don’t
belong here, you
Elizabeth Estochen is a queer, nonbinary writer in Denver, Colorado. Her chapbook, For Love, and for Cruelty was published by WordTech Editions in January, 2020. Follow her on Twitter @estochen or her website, http://estocheneditorial.com.