I refuse to stand idly by while you
butcher my children with your tolerant
nonchalance by refusing to place value
on their innocent black lives. I heard that
but I’m still waiting for the 100 proof truth
to present itself and prove that that’s more
than a passing trend, something to mollify you
while you try to get a foot in the door. Just some watered
down gin that’s got you stumbling down the
back alley of truth, where no one will ever be free.
I understand you and how you feel. I’m tired too
of being invisible, of being a menace to society
even though all I ever wanted to do was love you.
Love everyone. I’m tired of trying to
force a color-blind world to see the worth in me.
Color blind only when you know I see you.
But even in a fucked up world where thugs with badges
will gun you down as easily as me, I refuse to be
tagged with an ever-tightening guilt noose
to be branded with revolutionary temporary tattoos
an ingrained inscription “I will only become enraged
when you off-color outsiders come into our homes &
take our people away like lambs to the slaughter,”
except we lookin at you & we see you, so you gonna
keep seein your face plastered on the news and we gon’
keep protesting you. But there’s a death knell of silence
on the streets in our neighborhoods when another
colored person chooses to massacre someone with
butterscotch-colored skin like me and you. And
that Hershey dark chocolate. And caramel too.
The silence is so loud I can hardly hear you.
I know you’re there. I can hear you
knocking, but somebody should’ve told you
that we don’t fake the funk with
Designer outrage here
So you can strut by in your
Michael Kour-age, Dooney Burdens,
Black & Broke Pride and your worn out
downtrodden Jordan shoes.
I must tell you: empty platitudes don’t hold
water, their substance like runoff from an
overflowing latrine. I tried just shaking the handle,
but it eventually fell off in my hand & I’m left
standing here feeling confused, wondering where
to dispose of the crap that claims
but only if you white when you take a black life.
Every night on the six o’clock news
they inflame you with recycled news stories
about who shot who and somehow you manage
to ignore the elephant in the room standing right
beside you. A little girl was killed in her bed,
this ain’t no fucking Sleeping Beauty story, dude.
She was sleep and they killed her. Why doesn’t
that enrage you? A seven year old shot in her head
and she fell dead. All she wanted to do was play
the games children play, but someone stole her life
away. Why the fuck doesn’t that anger you? Why
haven’t you gathered her mother’s hot tears
in a jar and used them to wash away the shackles
that have chained our minds and memories too?
What has to happen before you will hashtag
BLACK LIVES MATTER
even when the killer looks just like you and me?
What will finally touch you, touch that spot within you
that makes you wanna holler so we can yell together
“We wanna be free of the madness that’s killing me –
Peace & Love,