America to Eric Garner

Your skin:
      too black,
      threat,
      threatened,

      target.

Your voice
      above silent:
      too loud.

Your voice:
      (I can’t breathe.)
      Stop (your voice),
      stop (I can’t breathe),
      stop
                 (can’t),
      your voice,
                 (can’t)

             stop,
                      stop,
                               stop.

Your voice:

 

            static.

 

Your body
      being: danger.
Your body
      being power:

      must not be.

 Your body:

 

            shrapnel.

 

Your life:
      bloodied brick.
Your life:
      towers,
      ivory
      chipping.
Your life
      being power:
      should not be.

Your life

 

            was.

 

Your death:
      history spiraling.
Your death:
      drops in my barrel.
Your death:
      evidence,
      indictment,
      apartheid.

I demand

your death,
your death,
your death

     murder
         murder
                murder
                      murder       murder      MURDER

         ECHO:
                    John Crawford III
                    Tyree Woodson
                    McKenzie Cochran
                    Michael Brown
                    Ezell Ford
                    Kaijeme Powell
                    Dante Parker
                    Victor White III
                    Tanisha Anderson
                    Akai Gurley
                    Tamir Rice

Your MURDER:
      catalyst.
Your MURDER:
      fire to rage.
Your MURDER:
      my effigy.

 

         Tonight,

                       I burn.

 
Eric Garner was murdered by a police officer using a prohibited chokehold. A New York grand jury ruled that his killer would not face trial. His murder is one horrific example of the racist police brutality rampant throughout America, as well as of the racism endemic to our “justice” system. Every 28 hours, a Black person is shot by a cop or vigilante in this country. This poem is a letter from a violent, unjust, racist America to Eric Garner. http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/the-american-justice-system-is-not-broken-1666445407/+AlbertBurneko

*Even as a dark, South Asian woman, I know I hold an unbelievable amount of privilege. I can walk down the street, see a white cop, and not fear for my safety. Black individuals have been systemically and historically dehumanized in this country in ways I will never face. I write today as an act of solidarity, as a demonstration that I stand behind the thousands of Black protestors and leaders demanding change. Please, support the voices of Black poets by following the hashtag #BlackPoetsSpeakOut https://medium.com/matter/blackpoetsspeakout-9ba990577db7

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