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[photo of Asha]
By Asha
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The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble

Right hands on holsters
at thickish cop hips.
Left ones raising splinters
with palm sweat
on their wooden beating poles.

Shaking in their bullet proof spacesuits,
bitter and
shaking in their “I-think-they’ll-b-safe” suits,
they are
over armed,
ready for attack
against the mob equipped
with a radical thirst.

Empty plastic water bottles
soar at them,
these airborne frustrations
are the unanswered pleas to
our President come hometown.

A sea of powder blue gumball heads
rush toward us.
The undercover law enforcement
faux comrades,
in black bloc,
anarchist garb,
wait for it.

Police Chief McCarthy whispers
orders in ears,
untrusting and combative,
still ringing with post-war horrors.
Deploys his war vet cop pawns
suited in riot gear,
clad with
billy clubs, tasers
tear gas, pepper spray.
Personal weapon collections
jangle at their belts,
most threateningly,
as he deploys a blue shirted army
into the occupied territory
of a demonstrator’s body.

40,000 Afghani civilians
lie silently
at the bottom
of a NATO war waste bin
so far.
The faces of their advocates
crack, concuss,
the skulls of the socialists
bruise, bleed
and paint red on the streets where
ninety sets of plastic handcuffs
grip wrists raw,
stifling our movement,

And that, our leader says,
is “what America is all about.”