what Sam said//white-America

“a change is gonna come”
Sam Cooke said back in 1963;
those words that touched me
echoed through all of these years
drenched in black-America’s tears
somehow un-spokenly by our entire country,
people of color still on the run
conservative media bite their tongues
as law enforcement grows more violent in Ferguson,
why is every citizen not disgusted and overcome
by the truth of what is going on?
it infuriates my every molecule
that young black men have been modeled
as some violent threat
and when he crosses paths with me at night,
he is sure to step off of the sidewalk
onto the street
and then he will adjust his posture
as soon as he sees me, a white girl,
because he’s been taught to believe
i’ll immediately
see the dark of his skin and racially profile him
as someone to fear;
i wish i could tell him
“no, no please,
we can both walk here” //
and there, we find the irony:
now i, too, think i am the one to be afraid
–and he and i both politely
step off of the walkway
for one another
and try to appear unbothered
by the cage of race
which is the true defacer which makes
us step away from one another,
the sidewalk un-used but weathered
Michael Brown: all too familiar
of a story, ordinary enough that America’s become so used to
injustices that they hear
it almost seems quite boring–
though, now, the time’s coming near
for hushed violence to be made clear;
an entire country must face the mirror:
racism is alive and white-America is blind
by a civilization learnt to privilege and ease,
barely notice the angry-Pigs killed a teen
without any reason
his hands
over head (he knows how it goes)
six shots
burning through the black of his skin
revealing the red blood within
(as though it were a question
that anybody could be less human)
and they say he fell to the ground
spectators felt death all around
and still, the cops so proud
as to handcuff his broken body
never had his chance to stand
someone pleads,
“stop! you’re handcuffing a dead man”
and there, still, i hear the song of Sam
like church bells chiming mournfully overhead
Trayvon, too, paid the price
and those standing for their rights
in the Ferguson riots
detained despite these ancient chains
still tethered by America’s first slaves;
where are we, what world is this?
for every wound of every race
or minority, i wish i could kiss them
away to a grander Age
to rest
Sam’s song could lay.


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