“Courthouse” by Monica Wendel

Monica Wendel


At the rally for the woman who was raped
by that cop, Reverend Billy started in on
corporations, eventually winding his way down
to her body. The booing stopped, then. In Bushwick,
near Varet Street, one wheatpasted sign reads
you can’t have capitalism without racism and another
says occupy my penis. Audre Lorde said the master’s tools
will never dismantle the master’s house which I hated
when I first heard it—of course plantation tools
could kick holes in walls, of course fire burns both
fields and hearths, until I realized what she meant.
Or maybe I still don’t. Maybe the sign should have read
you can’t have capitalism without misogyny or plain old fuck cops
after the trial was over, a jury member said, of course
the cop did it, we just didn’t have enough to convict. It was
he said she said. Here’s all I can say: the cops formed
a wall outside the courthouse, hands behind their
backs, chests forward. Like they were the ones under
attack. Like it’s not violence if someone gets off.

from Rattle #42, Winter 2013


Monica Wendel: “I live in Jack Kerouac’s house. This is a symbol, or a metaphor, maybe, but it’s also a thing that’s true. The other day two college students knocked on the door, asking if they could come in to see where Jack lived. I write because I want to cause problems, not solve them. I write because there’s more truth in our questions than in our answers.” (web)

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