March 3, 2014, Iberia Parish, LA—
Police say that Victor White III, 22,
shot himself while handcuffed
in the back of a police cruiser.

November 19, 2013, Durham, NC—
Police say that Jesus Huerta, 17,
shot himself while handcuffed
in the back of a police cruiser.

July 29, 2012, Jonesboro, AR—
Police say that Chavis Carter, 21,
shot himself while handcuffed
in the back of a police cruiser.

He reached back and found
his own hands with his own
hands, worked his bound
fingers to set his free fingers
loose, then used that shackled
hand to free the other shackled
hand, and the freed shackled
hand, still shackled, was still
bound to the other hand once
both were freed. Once free
in the shackles, the shackled
hands turned to the matter
of the gun, which couldn’t be
there because they’d searched
the man twice and a gun
is a big thing unless it isn’t,
unless it is dreamed alive by
hands that believe they are no
longer shackled. Stunned in
cuffs, but free and searching,
the left and right hands found
a gun with a stink like voodoo,
a gun that couldn’t have been
there, wasn’t there, but was.
The left-handed him used 
a cuffed hand, which could
have been either left or right
(since both were free), to root
around for a trigger and fire
a bullet right into his left-
handed head, impossible but
not really, since the preferred
killing hand may have preferred
its shackles. The policemen,
who had searched the man
twice and cuffed both his free
and unfree hands behind his
back before his hands found
his own hands and pulled,
heard no human sound at all
during all that frantic magic,
no fuck! as the man struggled
to get his left shackled hand
to do what his right shackled
hand wouldn’t do, no frenzied
pound of one bracing foot 
against the door, no grunt
or whoop of glee to mark
all those times he slipped out
of custody and in again.
But they did hear the bang
of the gun that wasn’t there
(but was) when it sent that
bullet into the right side of
his left-handed head. Sounds
like sacrifice, they thought.
Slumped, eyes cocked and
undone, the man was amazed
at the sweet hoodoo he had
managed. Both left and right
hands were shackled and free
behind him, there was an eerie
perfect circle of smoke in his
hair. Suicide, the policemen
said at the very same time.
It was odd how they reached
the same conclusion, so they
smiled, and shook their heads,
praising their God in the light
of miracle. Meanwhile the man
who couldn’t have done what
he did, but did, bled down to
zero. Guess he couldn’t take it,
the alive said to the other alive.
He didn’t mean wearing shackles.
He meant not wearing them.