Rhode Island department of child, youth, and family services case 93195
is rooting through the trash when a voice from above lands on his skull like a brick:
that’s disgusting, don’t you care what your mother would think?
I never knew her. I do remember the way my first foster father’s chin
would collapse in the middle of my back every time he finished
the feel of sweaty stubble on my spine in the darkness
I could not say how many post midnight visits he made to my bedroom
before my case worker…
93195 is moved like trash, with all worldly possessions in a Glad bag
cinch sacked from placement to placement. Now he shares a room
with two foster brothers who alternate secret touch time whenever
his new parents are away, often one right after the other
and it goes on for years all this before his tenth birthday. By age thirteen
93195 has violated 3 foster sisters and one young neighbor.
He did not choose this; while America spends billions to photograph Mars
and flex military bases like biceps around the globe, the war on terror
is being lost in foster bedrooms from Oakland to Providence
there are millions of cases, before predators contracted by the state
like hiring bandits to guard bank safes, like doctors without degrees
like calling yourself pro life without ever having fostered, adopted,
or big sister-ed a child. How is it possible that we have a direct line
tuned to every womb on the planet but remain deaf
to what is screaming on the outside? How can it be
that there are so many crusaders on both sides of the line
only willing to fight for fractions? Pro choice but never chose to vote
or broke a sweat to advocate for child services. Pro life
but never protected life by volunteering at a women and children’s shelter
or considered adopting before we made more. Is it possible
for us to cherish what does not mirror our own image?
This is an open plea to a massive, yet apathetic
pro choice shadow army slumbering under canopies of comfortable;
our hands are not so clean. And to my anti choice chief justice,
his masters, followers, and every body in between, my kind of people
do not seem valuable to your god. To ones so young and defenseless,
a foster father who cannot keep his hands to himself is a terrorist
beyond your ability to measure. Please, do not force into this world
what you are not willing to be responsible for. For the sake of case 93195
and every young prisoner of this war with no voice and broken light
my name is Jared Paul and I am pro choice for life.
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