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The Mirror-Glass Coffin: A Candlelight Vigil at the Police Line Ferguson, MO

Amy Tran

In the dark, the candles illuminate the faces of the crowd, these 
untrained civilians, young and old, prepared to fight, who hold no guns. 
Their faces wrapped in handkerchiefs, hoods pulled over their heads. 
They surround the mirror-glass coffin, closed, empty, reflecting


the peaceful citizens, young and old, prepared to fight, but not with guns. 
They raise their arms, candles to the sky. Hands up don't shoot, they say, 
and push the mirror-glass coffin forward, empty, and in its glass 
they see themselves-black, young bodies like Michael Brown's. 
Hands up don't shoot! they chant, candles lit. Hands up don't shoot! They 
push the coffin, lift it for them-the police-to see, their eyes staring 
at the black, young bodies before them, that ask do we look like Michael Brown?


The crowd counts down ten, nine, eight, the police reach for their holsters, steady,

eyes watching the coffin, lifted for them to see, to stare at the 
reflection of themselves, a line of men, uniformed, reaching for the guns 
in their holsters, ready. The countdown reaches three, two, one. They drop 
the coffin, watch it fall, mirrored glass cracking as it hits the ground. 
The line of police, men who reach for guns, look at the reflections of 
the faces hidden in handkerchiefs, hoods pulled over their heads. 
The coffin lays on the ground. Its cracked mirrors reflect the faces of 
the crowd, who hold candles out, up, luminous against the dark sky. 

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