Part of 12 of in
By Diane Ujiiye
Illustrations by Paul Minagawa
Jan 15, 2018 | min read
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“Those affected by mass incarceration.”
That could be you.
That chair you’re sitting on.
Where was it made?
Those streets you avoid.
Those people you’re afraid of.
Scared of.
Scared of what?
And why?


4 men
1 toilet
no water


Through glass and phone
Broken left hand
“What happened?”
“Don’t wanna talk about it.”


State says this
County says that
Parole officer can’t
Probation officer won’t
The chasm widens
In you fall
The further you go
the less we see


Green light on yellow
Yellow is brown
brown is black
black is black
then fade to white

what do you know about that?
“La eMe” green light on Asianz


Freshly spray-painted “RIP Wino”
on my sidewalk
Homie grieving his dad
Must memorialize 


In you, Lord, I have taken refuge
let me never be put to shame.

In your righteousness, rescue me 
and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and
save me.

Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, my God,
from the hand of the wicked
from the grasp of those who
are evil and cruel ...

We read Psalm 71
until the phone call
cuts off.

Rock, refuge, fortress.

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Diane Ujiiye

Diane Ujiiye — Activist minister. Asian American Pacific Islander - Christians for Social Justice. Fuller grad. Former chair of the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs.

Paul Minagawa

Paul Minagawa taught high school fine arts in Honolulu, HI, before working as an engineer at a Los Angeles chemical tech company. Historically a painter, his work now focuses on diagrammatic ink sketches melding engineering thinking and abstract concepts of selfishness, selflessness, and interaction between the church and the world.

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