A psychiatrist reflects on the death of Jordan Neely, only a couple of weeks after his murder...

Tony Baggett/Adobestock

Tony Baggett/Adobestock


What say you today America
Fear embeds itself in the hyperviligant psyches
Motioning the unsung paragon to occlude the
Parched and hungry homeless neck
Whose muscles were like a smooth criminal
Moonwalking towards freedom’s promise
Of a new tomorrow

Shrewd subways saturated with
Traumatic past longing for healing
But reptilian brain unanimously usurps frontal logic for another day

Meanwhile the anal sphincter of Neely defecates profusely as inhumanity searches for its next victim
Meanwhile the lifeless figure predicts his own demise

Fifteen fatal F train minutes
For the forgotten marginalized leper
A sobering reminder of
Our nation’s chokehold on humanity

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

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