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I had no idea how much more dying was on the way.“
                         —Tim Seibles

Let’s reimagine a change in title. Let’s force a real shift
in mindset. The etymology of the three words: an ambush; 

ban Law Enforcement Officer from our vocabulary. The resistance
and attacks on the rhetoric alone—much less the system, an ambush. 

Can we deploy UN Peacekeepers onto American soil? Can they make
Blackness in America not another pathway leading into an ambush?

One disagreement. One fight. Not again! Then again. Baby fuck
me. Fuck you!! Our words once grounding, elevated into ambush.

With his Peacemaker revolver, Wyatt Earp killed three cowboys at the
O.K. Corral. The story goes, he and the others walked right into that ambush.

Darling, what’s a six-letter word for surprise? Think surprise
attack. Think, to surround, to assault. Oh! Oh! Ambush. 

Three shots on the foot, two on the chest, one to the calf, abdomen,
and scalp. Eight rounds stopped the Pulse nightclub shooter’s ambush.

The way the tension between us invaded and shattered our
home. Say overwhelming. Say sudden. Say violent. Say ambush.

Twelve shots fired: ten pierced black flesh. A car wreck, a distressed home
invasion call, the white officer’s gun draw; his gun’s recoil: much like an ambush.

Graffiti artist suffers sudden cardiac death. Police chased and tased
the tagger of the abandoned McDonald’s I’d visit. Unlike an ambush,

unlike a hail of bullets aimed at an unsuspecting crowd, how my city turned
vandalism to outrage, to protests, to farewells, to fine art, define ambush.

Trayvon could’ve been me; my son. The pile of deaths that followed reminds
me my black body remains subject to vigilante attacks, any type of ambush.

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar’s first poetry collection, We Seek Asylum, was the 2016 Grand Prize Winner for Poetry, Willow Books Literature Award and published in 2017. His chapbook, Between Line Breaks, was published by Spartan Press in 2016. As a Dominican poet, he has been a member of the Latino Writers Collective, plus received fellowships from Cave Canem and Artist Inc. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in !Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, Salem Press, ABC-CLIO, Asymptote, EZRA, InTranslation, and other journals and anthologies. His newest manuscript is an interactive, hybrid collection related to his law enforcement experience. Aybar is also working on a couple of illustrated children’s books, a father/son collection of essays, and on translating more texts from Mexican author/playwright Glafira Rocha. His first kid’s book, Same or Different about blending families after divorce will be completed in 2021.
You can follow him on Instagram @gustavoadolfoaybar
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