first we tried the boxes.
lined up in droves, exhausted, hours away from obligation
our little slips of paper thrown to the wayside, shoved in drawers, in fires
then we tried the streets.
footsteps without firearms, discussion without discord
our cries and pleas ignored, promises bent, erased, broken
next we tried the windows.
glass and shrapnel flying, black and red masks
their rifles like railguns, our flailing bodies like styrofoam
last we tried our weapons.
metal against flesh, flesh to ash
polling stations turned to armories
alleys turned to chokepoints
storefronts turned to barricades
never say we didn’t try peace.