Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award. Her debut collection, Magic City Gospel (Hub City Press, 2017), won the silver medal in Poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Her second collection, dark // thing, won the 2018 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry from Pleiades Press. She lives and teaches in Birmingham, Alabama.
I See a Smear of Animal on the Road and Mistake it for Philando Castile
By Ashley M. JonesAdded: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 / Ashley Jones' poem was awarded Second Place in the 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest, sponsored by Split This Rock. Sonia Sanchez lent her generous acumen as judge for the contest.
After Officer Jeronimo Yanez is acquitted on June 16, 2017
Don’t need lawyers
when you split a body in two
on the highway—
Don’t need courtrooms
and the judge’s billowing robe, its filthy swaddling cloth—
What handcuffs exist for an accidental animal killing?
What law says a tire can’t push a soft seam open between rubber & tar?
What law says a man can’t bleed like a possum
a greedy raccoon
in his own car?
What law says stop?
When the jurors finished the meal they’d made of him—filet of buck—
they wiped their seeping gums with napkins, burped,
and swore they smelled something burning,
perhaps, a laughing gun—