Shelby Schultz

There’s an arch on the top of my eye that disappears when it closes. It looks like the edge of the
sun when drawn on the corner of children’s pages. My eye captures light until tears warp and
cloud it; the marker bleeds on the page when water spills across it.

Red, yellow, green.

The passersby cant, can’t listen. It’s too loud to hear when you call.

Marker tracks across paper. It can stain the skin. Writing numbers isn’t cheating if it’s a lawyer’s
contact on your wrist.

Are you home safe? Oh my dearest, call me back.

They are arresting.

The lines she scribbles on the page that paint half the picture.

You have to keep your eye open when they douse it with water if you kept your eyes open when
they filled the air with fire. There are three sides to the fight and two are protectors: the
protestors, the medics. The police are inciters.

Red, yellow, green. We stop, we slow, we start – always standing together.

Trying not to fall apart.

There’s a eulogy to the violence as the grim reaper stalks. They hold batons, firearms, pepperball
guns. We have a single firework that breaks the thick air apart.

Now, who turned it awry? He who burned with passion in his eyes or the man who stood static.

Criticized, dehumanized.

We’re here to celebrate being alive.

Cops lunge, grabbing our hair.

Red, yellow, green. All bad apples.

Properly, he sits inside. Property, he hides behind.

The administration writes a fantasy: who, what, where, especially why. But they still won’t
release the pages of budgets. No oversight.

There’s a child holding hands with her dad on the edge of the crowd. She cowers as we all back
up, dragging bikes, umbrella shields. There’s a flare her eyes follow as it streaks left to back. A
beam within the darkness to counteract the attack.

Red flare, red eyes, red face.

We hold our position. Unlawful assembly. There’s nowhere to run to because the police prepared
for chasing. There’s safety in numbers. The cops doubled overnight. The cars edge closer. We
jeer and chant with no sight.

An unsuccessful de-arrest. We call out code black.

We stare down police with red-marked eyes. We draw in a breath.

A comrade lost to the cops is like a death.

Look at the shuttered crowd, hugging tight down the blockaded road, as we inch on and on
and on.

Rebuilding our home.


Shelby Schultz is a third-year Radio/Television/Film and Asian American Studies student from Dallas, Texas. Her work addresses misconceptions of public safety and the danger of the police to marginalized citizens.