Blackout a finalist for 2018 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize Honoring Jake Adam York

When Box Met Diamond

[I hope this is not another free verse poem.]
Before there were war planes [Oh no!] there was
going down in flames [It is.] Before there was
[What, repetition?] Greek tragedy
[And another lame enjambment.] there was
Greek slavery [I'm a person too, you know.]
Before there were < hey you > courts
[I think I deserve a better poem than this.] there were
courtiers < you, in the box > Before there were cities
< i see you > there were rivers [You don't know how long]
Before there were rights [I've been trapped here.]
there were privileges < i know what it's like to feel trapped >
[Tell me before he starts again.] Before there were pistols
[Oh crap!] there were shots [He got it off.]
< i used to be a prisoner in a narrative poem >
Before there were lawyers there were [You?] laws
< god yes, but I found a way out > Before there was the big
[How did you leave?] there was the Big Bang
< take my hand > [I don't think this will work.]
Before there were knives < now, just take my hand >
[Oh, this won't work.] there was < just hold on >
[Yes, I can feel it.] cutting loose < me too > Before
there was the Renaissance [Say it diamond!] there was
the Age of Enlightenment < we're outta here >
Before there were prisons, there were sentences.

First published in The OffBeat, 2017.