BlackLivesMatter

Unsettlin' Melanin

Do the levels in

My Melanin

Unsettle them?

 

What about me with my hands above my head...

Is more dangerous than a white man swinging an axe?

So much so, that he got a warning...

And I've got six warning shots in my back?

 

"All lives Matter," they shout enraged

And yeah that's true...

But until Timmy and Tyrone both make it home

 

My life still doesn't matter to you.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

After a 5 year Hiatus I'm back

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The Black Mother’s Pain (a poem for Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, or whichever fallen black name applies at the time you read this)

i will never know the black mother’s pain,
but i imagine that if the phrase “adding insult to injury” had a feeling,
that would be it.

i will never know the black mother’s pain,
but i imagine that it sounds like “hands up, don’t shoot,”
I imagine it sounds like “i can’t breathe,”
like blood hitting a pavement that seems as though it was built
to catch each of those droplets.

i will never know the black mother’s pain,
but i imagine that it tastes like skittles and arizona tea,
four years old but still carrying the fresh sting of a wound just opened.
i imagine that it tastes
like history repeating itself,
like seeing your son or daughter recycled each week
on every news report, on every tv station.
each time it is a different body,
but it is always the same hand pulling the trigger,
the same black blood being spilled,
the same cries left unheard;
we shout “black lives matter”
and yet, still,
they cut them too short.

i will never know the black mother’s pain,
but i imagine that it looks like a web of lies too thick to cut through.
every strand another weapon that he did or did not have,
another order that he did or did not follow,
another sin that he did or did not commit;
the only black they care about
is the color of the ink they use
to draw your angel-headed boy
a set of horns.
i imagine that it looks like evidence hidden,
like sparknotes-type skim-throughs labeled
“thorough investigations,”
like another unindicted officer walking freely atop the cries of those who charged into a battle they knew they would,
but hoped they would not, lose.
a battle they have fought too many times before.
i imagine that it looks
like an empty chair at the dinner table,
like cold-blooded murder disguised as justice
with the help of a blue hat and a badge.

i will never know the black mother’s pain,
but if you listen closely enough,
you can hear it
in every cautious goodbye she says to her children whenever they leave the house,
or in the silence that those goodbyes used to fill.

can you hear it?
you will have to push past the shouts
of the big bold letters that they want you to believe.

somewhere,
somewhere in there,
a black mother’s heart is crying.
it is a gentle, hushed cry
that the world does not want to hear.

but the tears are still just as wet.
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