“feeling your heart beat through your screaming chants, hearing your sorrow through the reverbing stomps, smelling the fear in your every breath, and touching the hope in your gravelly voice” Poetry.
For Robert (7/15/13)
I saw you touch forehead-to-forehead, sweat dripping down your brow and onto his chiseled jawline, two rare earth magnets, separated by distance, linked by circumstance, with detached ideas but attached flesh;
I saw the veins on your neck thicken and pulsate, through your stubble, feeling your heart beat through your screaming chants, hearing your sorrow through the reverbing stomps, smelling the fear in your every breath, and touching the hope in your gravelly voice;
I saw you in hundreds of thousands of people that night, so many Roberts in so many nameless faces, all who prayed alongside you, praying for Oscar Grant, praying for their Oscar Grant, and hand-in-hand facing authority, facing the men who killed solidarity, facing the men who not only saw difference, but acted on it;
who kill “threatening” forces, those who speak their minds, compelled to look beyond color, and starve the hunger for similarity,
those who are forced to keep fists up, those painted with a shade of Brown stealing a pack of cigarettes from the nearby convenience store,
they’re killing your son Trayvon, your friend Michael, everyday, everywhere,
with guns, with knives, with distance, with words, with crushing of dreams, with living of nightmares,
killing those who stand in front of the Amtrak, headlights bright in their eyes, horns shattering eardrums, teary-eyed, praying “Christ will come a-calling,” those standing to change the standard,
those who aren’t religious, but need a God since all else is lost,
those who join an allegiance to value lives, not people, with the hope that independence will become freedom, and freedom will indicate equality, and equality will signify change, and change will reveal unity, and unity will manifest into humanity;
humanity we claim we are a part of, but as seen, our actions speak louder than words, those in search for “we,” the “us,” those disturbed and perturbed by the opposition, those mystified by the two sides in this battle, those counting the days, calculating the times, and grieving the numerous deaths of those who wear black, everyday, not only for a funeral, but rather for life, a thin layer of color on the skin that the other side sees as inferior, not worthy, unimportant, but
it is said that a number of reports cannot be dismissed as anecdotage,
this isn’t a dinner conversation, you don’t need to pass the broccoli; I wish we could tell our parents everything we learned in history class over a cup of tomato soup, but the history book is now our life—I wish those words about racial discrimination stayed on the page, but
I saw you that night, for the last time.