University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
center for writing

Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Daniel Muro Lamere


Photo of reading at celebrationSanford Florida Public Works

They’re ripping up the sidewalks,
Cardinal calls drowned out
By jackhammers, bobcats.

You can’t weaponize a sidewalk
That isn’t there.
No more crime scene photographs,
no more guns discharged.

This is a peaceful place—
And don’t we all deserve
Some peaceful ground
To stand on?

Soft and grassy,
Surrounded by gates
A worn path in place of pavers.

A word of caution:

This is our life.
People not from around here
Who make us so afraid
That we go towards them
Instead of away—

They don’t get a warning shot
This isn’t Tallahassee,
This is a peaceful place
Where we do what needs doing.

Bring on the jackhammers:
We’ll walk on the grass
If we have to.


Animate an arrow on a map.
Imbued with all of the cultural sensitivity
Of an Indiana Jones movie.

Launch in lush Laotian jungle,
Cross continents and seas,
And split
Like the forked tongue
Of a serpent
Or a dragon,
Upon reaching the Mississippi.

One end lands in Minneapolis,
Calls itself Fong Lee,
And falls, one weekend
Outside an elementary school
On the beleaguered North Side.

No saint, this Fong Lee,
Or maybe he was,
Or maybe it doesn’t matter,
When chased on a bike
By cops in a squad car.

When rammed, run down,
When running like hell isn’t enough.

When shot eight times.

And a gun recovered later
Has no prints,
No bullets fired.
Official reports attribute it
To the late Fong Lee

The arrow’s other end
Lands in Saint Paul,
On my roster.
This Fong Lee is quiet,
Yet alive.

His shirt reads “I AM FONG LEE”

Poetry and politics,
Shakespeare and Espada,
And who knows if Fong
Has read either man’s work?

This one gets the joke
Because he tells it,
But forgive his lack of laughter:
There’s nothing funny
About having to know
That some kid with your moniker
And migratory history
Was killed by cops
Not fifteen miles away.

Indiana Jones only had snakes
And caricatures of Nazis
To contend with.
This shit is for real.

An animated arrow splits in two,
Dead ends,
But cannot retract.
It must remain,
A red stain on a map.