in our watering can

THESE NAMES
are consonants and vowels
strung together to make a sound that a
PERSON                                                                                  [once]
responds to.

THESE NAMES
are babies.
to kids.
to teenagers.
to drivers.
to voters.
to drinkers.
to soldiers.
to workers
to elderly
are too early beloved dead.

THESE NAMES
are catalogues of
(birthdays thanksgivings christmases summer-breaks graduations weddings baptisms soccer games school plays science fairs spelling bees first dates coffee talks spin classes vacations scraped knees first kisses last kisses hellos good-byes jobs careers tuesday mornings where the gossamer sun streams through the new paisley curtains)
our
idealism insecurities shielded-eyes materialism laziness excuses terrorism oppression
stubborn unwavering beliefs that
even after all the unquestionable crime against
THESE NAMES
history will be undeservingly kind to us.

these names are fucking
HUMAN BEINGS
and they shouldn’t HAVE TO FUCKING EXPLAIN THAT TO ANYONE WE SHOULD JUST KNOW THAT IT’S FUCKING SCIENCE BECAUSE IT’S THE SAME FUCKING BLOOD THAT RUNS THROUGH OUR BODIES THE SAME FUCKING GUTS THAT SIT IN OUR BONES THE SAME BASIC HUMAN FUNCTIONS THAT FUCKING KEEP US ALIVE
only daily
THESE NAMES
add fear to these functions
add caution to these functions
add courtesy to monsters to these functions
add worried mothers fathers aunts uncles cousins grandparents friends colleagues to these functions
because it’s a FUCKING WAR ZONE OUT THERE
but
FUCKING
we took their protection away.
No.
We never gave them the same protections in the first place.

THESE NAMES
are being screamed
and falling into the void
while the “majority” are whispering words
and not saying anything
and looking sideways
and talking about sports ball
{and writing poems}
and receiving standing ovations for

what?
[acknowledging privilege is not
weeping at the graves of your children.
it’s a luxury.
not a success.]

THESE NAMES are
Philando Castile
Alton Sterling
Trayvon Martin
Sandra Bland
Kathryn Johnson
Sean Bell
Eric Garner
Rekia Boyd
Amadou Diallo
Mike Brown
Kimani Gray
Kenneth Chamberlain
Travares McGill
Tamir Rice
Aiyana Stanley-Jones
Freddie Gray
Walter Scott
Jerame Reid
Philip White
John Crawford
Miriam Carey
Sharonda Singleton
and that’s nowhere near all of them.
Tomorrow there will be more

and when will it stop when it will it stop when will it stop when
will it stop when will it when
???????????????

we’re watering our flowers with blood and now they are thorny stems that we insist are pretty through our shit-eating grins

July 7, 2016

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