Black Lives Matter
People sink into bullets
Fingers don't know what to do
If they can't find their trigger
They drown my friends on sidewalks
They dip their hands in honey
And lick off blood
We stay up late with the news
And eat smashed bodies
with our potatoes at dinner
We think we're living under a dome
Better grow up quick
Some of us just grow up dead
This is not how we want our communities to operate
-Title by Barack Obama
selling loose cigarettes to survive
living off of CD sales in the digital age
no job in this town
no job left in that town either
three minimum wage jobs
die in your car from exhaustion
spikes on the ground
"you can't sleep here", they say
record video of murder
go to jail as killer cop gets off
pitch a tent in city park
might not see the sun tomorrow
bulldozers crunching outside window
eviction notice tattooed on your bones
no one could ever actually breathe
in this teargas town anyway
bite the splinters in your finger
they still won't come out today
wonder if stomach explodes
when filled with too many toothpicks
die in this town
die in this city
either way you end up dead
while paying rent just for living
--a response to Jay Sizemore's "Gun of a Bitch"
-for Trayvon Martin
I still feel his black barrel
twist against my chest
as it becomes the razor
that scratches out my name.
Now, in my dreams, I dance with blood.
I still cry for help
in the veins of brother Tamir.
I bite the gun and call for God,
but all I see is his shadow.
This demon pushing against my throat
will never be man or spirit again,
no matter how many poets
try to make him so.
Riots are the language
Of those who have been forced
To hold their breath in the sea
While the logos and steel beams
Rise up around them
To mock their attempts at speech.
When broken glass
Is the only tongue you've left them,
How else can they afford to speak?
Those with seats at the table
Do not respond to treaties and negotiations.
They have never upheld
The ones they signed,
And they won't stop taking
The best meat for themselves now.
When the iron lung of fascism heaves
And chokes out the blood of your young,
And the doorway to equality
They promised you is locked,
Sometimes you've got to bust open
The damn window.
The man who steals the bread
To feed his child
Is not the thief.
The thief is the system
That denied his child food.
Do not speak to me of safety
Until you can guarantee
That all will be safe.
Do not speak to me of freedom
Until those forced to remain silent
Are given speech.