Iacta alae est (The die is cast) (A poem)

This poem, about Santos Laboy, who was killed in an encounter with Massachusetts State Police in June 2015, was originally written for the Lament for the Dead website. Since the site is no longer online (it was taken down last October), I thought I would repost. Fortunately, it still counts as an epistle. You can read my original post about the poem here.

Six months on the struggle
building yourself up
to be ready for whatever

You were still free
getting stronger by the day
—but the die was cast

…the individual is deceased.

Recently moved to Hell
you were ready for all-out war
Hunting season was about to begin

Little did you know
that you would be the quarry
(or did you know?)

…a substantial and long criminal history…

The hour of reckoning came
with the sun bright overhead

A footbridge would be your last stand
knife ‘allegedly’ at the ready
boxed in from all sides

‘Gotta survive…’

Police say
words were spoken
conversation took place

They’re not saying more
but witnesses heard
‘drop the knife!’

There were shots fired at that point….

The first bullet left you standing
blood running down your chest
the next three took you down

that one chain link
still holding you together
irrevocably broken

I’m not going to characterize who he was…

Now there’s no more pain
no more running
nothing more to lose

Descansa en paz
mi hermano

(20 June 2015—(re-)posted February 17th, 2016)