Black Ghost, Gun Smoke (Poem)

I still wish…
I hadn’t watched that second video

Watching someone die
On camera
Does something to you
Of Alton Sterling’s last moments
Appear before me
Filling up every space of my sight
Until all I see
Is him before my eyes
Withering and shaking
On the concrete
Arms outstretched
As though he was trying to hold on
To his very last moments of life

I was in shock for two days
I’ve seen people die in movies

But then they got back up…

I think,
Somewhere in my mind
I could not accept the reality
I was still waiting for him
To get back up
And when it all just wouldn’t compute
I tried to lie to myself
And say
Maybe I didn’t see what I saw
Maybe it didn’t happen

This is what some of those
Who sprout off “All Lives Matter,”
Are doing
When they see the obvious
And the brain does not comprehend
What they just saw
The cop isn’t supposed to be
The bad guy
This cop is not the bad guy
He’ll get back up again
There had to be a reason
There had to be…

Another day
Another Black man dies
And another
Found hanging
They ruled it suicide


Parts of Louisiana
Still look like Hurricane Katrina happened
And Flint, Michigan
Is still waiting on clean water

People defile the cause
By retaliating on police
Hours after a peaceful protest
People of all colors coming together
For peace
Protestors posing with policemen
Everyone is praying out
Shots spray out
People injured, officers down

No…they won’t get up again
My God,
They won’t get up

My eyes are warm most days
From burning with anger,
And sadness
I see people moving on
Like none of this ever happened
Tell me,
How can one move past it
When you won’t even acknowledge
What the “it” is
That you want to move past?
That’s like saying,
“Hey you there!”
In a crowd of thousands
And everybody swivels their heads
“Who me?”

We’ve been pretending for too long
It’s about time we accept our new reality

Man down
Shots ring out, another man
Another man
Another man down
People are playing with fire
Setting both sides of the fence ablaze
And we’re all getting burned up
In the process

I looked down at my timeline
And all I can say
Is, “Wow…”
Don’t let their deaths be in vain
Don’t let it all be for not
Because you’re slow to remember
Because you quickly forgot

What if it was your door
Someone knocked on?
What if your family had to get a phone call?
What if it was your friends
Who had to learn they’d never see you again?

No, no, no, no, no
Black skin, Band of Blue
They won’t ever
Get up

The elephant has been here for too long
You may not like me
And I may not agree with how you see things
But I would hope
We could come together
To learn from one another
Let’s learn from our history so we don’t
Repeat it

I pray no one else ever has to be haunted
By a person’s death
Whether on a live stream
Or while sitting in the backseat
Because we as a people
Could not find a way to settle
Our indifferences

Dissolve our intolerance

I looked around
And slowly but surely
Everyone’s acting as if
It never even happened
And in essence
It’s almost as if all those lives
That have died
Never even existed

This is not the end…

To be continued


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