Postcard from Oregon

Photo: Corbin C. (insta: @corbincorbin)

Man wearing flip-flops at the protest
Multnomah County Detention Center
1120 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

Did you feel our arms touching? I didn’t have the courage to ask you when you reached down to help me to my feet after the die-in. Before we all laid down, you yelled at someone in our group who had hit a houseless woman because she was behaving erratically. The person was white like me, and yelled back at you, “She was drunk!”

You replied, “What would you do if the police abused me?” You shook your head at the answer, it wasn’t good enough and you looked sad. Afterwards, for nine minutes, I felt the warmth of your arm pushed slightly against mine. I was first alarmed and then lulled by it as I stared at the sky and blinking city lights while you gazed down at the pavement.

Kira Smith is a writer from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, currently living in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Master of Science in Geography from Portland State University in 2018 and writes at the intersection of politics, space, and the environment.

Appears In

Issue 11.1

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