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A close up of a man's fist
Photo by Aladino Gonzalez on iStock

I was about 6, maybe 7
When Uncle Jimmy got shot
A car pulled up, they spoke in words
Then I heard pop pop POP
What were they saying?
Oh I get it,
Violence is communication
At some point in our lives words stop
And fists begin
This is ’cause of
Stuff we were witnessin’
Violence as communication
Spoken with fists
It becomes the norm
Never realizing it’s communication’s lowest form
And if fists are the lowest
What is the highest?
Come on, we should know this
It’s gotta be kindness
We gotta put away violence
And we gotta find this
New way to communicate
Put away our fists and embrace
Put away our fists and pray
Put away our fists, put away our fists, put our fists away
Kindness is a communication
At some point the words stop … and so must the violence.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Jessie Milo is a writer, artist and poet incarcerated in California. He is a volunteer for and an advocate for mental health.