Tara Betts

After Andy Warhol’s “Little Race Riot”

the man in a straw fedora is not the center
of the reproduced photograph, black and blue
like Louis Armstrong’s plaintive query,

black and white like america being simple
about every damn ingredient that fills its pot,
often stirred by black hands. the man in a straw

fedora is being chased to the margins. two
officers chase him, but the german shepherds
are central, every movement in a country

where darker bodies stand down with empty
raised hands, and some will write, photograph,
and paint the origami sharply unfolded in this

silk screened pair. Someone sees their cousins
in the background where dogs are hardly restrained,
and the protagonists on the right side of this story

will be subjects, fodder for weapons and auctions
still on repeat, the same photo rendered again
to replicate how american horrors are great,
and how any riot rising is laughably not little.