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Poem: In/dependence Day

December 14, 2016

For Philando Castile & Alton Sterling, and too many others

 

The days after/

the fireworks—

 

A night of

Handcrafted magic shot into the sky

And still

I am just a question for the white man

 

What better way to celebrate your freedom than

By opening fire into an open body of darkness?

 

There is a reason

the colors fade

when they arrive to us,

 

When they arch back into descent

And I cannot stop my eye from following

The trail of lights into a rope for lynching

 

Days after...

And a man that shares everything with me

but the bullet

is dead

 

His death be mine

His silver teeth be mine

His hustle be mine

His blood be mine

His wife, the presidential tragedy be mine

His son

His son

His son, his unfathered cry, be mine

and if I cry—if I lose myself in this new anthem

Turn my head toward the noise,

wouldn't that make me a mural of wailing women

 

Haven't we always been this America?

 

The one that steals stories–

The one that retells stories–

The one that asks for words I no longer have

To describe the way it murders me

 

And still,

the days after

We watch a man become the seat of a car in a slow red

And again,

I am the woman begging him to defy the bullet’s reach,

The backseat collapsing over the child

flexing its skin into more than layers of canvas and foam to keep her

From the blood

 

And what song do you sing for this?

 

I am an unloved country

Always black,

I have not been removed from my mourning

 

The tears do not unlearn their gravity

 

If I do not gasp their sorrow into rage

then what good is the body as a translator?

 

How does one harmonize/ solidify

my own surrender

My own fight

 

A tired bloodsong/

 

Days after,

 

Isn't it all mine?

Isn't it all mine?

 

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