Image courtesy of Jerise Fogel.


Written by Aarianna Barnes
Art by Yadesa Bojia and Jerise Fogel

EA click lights up the massive tv


And I’m joined with the
drowning sounds
of shouting, posters bobbing up and
down—mobs of people dressed in black-
Faces covered, scarves draped around cold
The buzzer rings downstairs and in an instant

Everything stops. A news flash
A quiet jury, a solemnly read explanation.
8 pages. It must’ve been. Then 9. Then 10.
I climb out of my seat
Half anticipating the doorbell
Half wanting to throw myself against
The grand jury.

It is August 9th, 2014. It is a slow day
For the life of a cop. A couple robberies
Radioed in. A couple hooligans hangin’
About. An urgent call from a corner
a suspiciously brusque—taller than
average (but maybe not) high school
Senior dashes across Coppercreek, Canfield Drive.
Ambitious Darren, probably (maybe) known
better as “Dean”—adjusts his mirror.
A static-y voice—a disgruntled convenience
store owner—a suspiciously brusque teenager who fits
the description. His pockets lined—Darren was
almost sure of it—with stolen Cigarillo’s

Image courtesy of Yadesa Bojia.

Image courtesy of Yadesa Bojia.

he doorbell does ring but there’s stillness

In its haunting echo through the apartment.
The walls are thin—I hear everyone
needing the same thing as me—a decision
we need a decision

There’s another page flip—more explanation
In legal terms I can’t quite grasp. My
Fingers slide against the cold door knob
And the delivery boy is urging me
To take my pan toasted pizza.
“That’ll be—”
I hold up my hand. Gaze still glued
To the television screen
“please” I feel my lips murmur
Not sure if I’m talking to him
Or to the grand jury.

Darren Dean Wilson slowly exits his
Patrol car. The radio’s still talking at him—
He doesn’t talk back—doesn’t ask
Anyone what he should do.
But he calls the teen over. And the
teen won’t stop. Some words are exchanged.
A couple more words.
Words that no one will ever hear.
Words sworn by Dorian Johnson—then
Later dismissed as lies.
lies. All of it. we’re all lying. All of us.
And in an instant.
After all these words—all these lies—all these—
there’s the grueling sound of lightning striking.
A pressure cooker.
30 seconds pass—feet hit the pavement in an
Anxious scramble
60—tires skid across the asphalt in an
Anxious pursuit
90 seconds—6 strikes—Michael Brown falls
face down.