“this is why today we will stop calling them ‘bullet points,”


why we will

stop—today—calling them

“bullet points”


we know now

all too well



a bullet’s point

a bullet’s path

a bullet’s purpose


these are the names

these are the numbers


their not-yet-written stories

become a national statistic


they crawl under desks to hide

only to become a crawl under

the desks of the talking heads




they look for help

from the leadership

only to find the markings

of a 45 on his cufflink


no fight to be line leader

just a hope that your hands

are on the back of another’s

on the way out of the fray


all of their milk money

has been poring through

interest groups who gulp

and burp their platforms


the zippered pencil pouches

are now pinstriped pockets

jam-packed with the hands

of unyielding political zealots


they’ve taken all the books

with no need to burn when

it’s just as easy to ban them

and banish their reading


and now a reclamation act

a return to the recycling bin

to take back the lined paper

to return again to the line


the black and white marble

of the composition book

spiral-bound pleas revised

into measured manifestos


look closely into the eyes

of a thousand yard stare

to find the beginnings

of a thousand word story.


enrollee not sentenced

student not statistic

person not population

graduate not survivor


these are the lives

in between the lines


this is one person
pledging allegiance
taking and inviting roll
one voice one life
on the line







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