Twelve, a special number,
A count of a tapestry on fire,
A slumber brought by umber
Twelve spots caught and acquired
By the bones behind the curtain.
Twelve–was what he counted
Until sharp in the face,
Each grain melted and surmounted
Writing and guiding through space.

The first was a boy, a child pretty young,
Fell from a tree and was strung
On the spot, a puppet hung.

Two, three and four, were broken together,
A mother with twins oozing leather,
The fire burned each against their tether–

The fifth was a girl, who found a toy,
A gun for protection, or an act to destroy,
The bullet, a killer, deployed.

The sixth, a black woman, executed and taken,
By police who cared less, misshapen, forsaken
Broken, retaken, her body in the seat, dead and raging.

Pills took the seventh, the eighth, and the next,
A pact between three ran with hex and sex,
Each one followed so they could be carried to an apex.

The tenth was raped, stabbed and killed,
By an evil man unfulfilled,
Taken to the chair and grilled, given only words chilled.

The eleventh drowned just inches from saving,
Brought down by time, graving, and slaving,
Lost to mud, with his bones engraving.

The last, the twelfth, found his own dark,
He failed and fell until nothing remained,
To wish, to find, to try and mark
A place to depress his grave.


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