This is not the time to let your
anger go to sleep, what with this
explosion of hate and blasts
of shrapnel that burns like fury,
bent to murder or maim your spirit
and rape your future into fear.
Brutality spawned behind doors
of generations-old closet racism
that just recently festered
out in the open, and given fangs.
They snarl at every other corner,
every traffic intersection and
crouch in shadowed alcoves
of your sacred sanctuaries,
wielding badges and guns
and brandishing privilege,
claws all sharpened and thirsty
for the blood of your children.
Slithering around your shared
spaces, spitting blatant ignorance
like proud rhetoric and lusting
for the next opportunity to
disrespect your life’s struggle.
This is not the time to let
the fight in you be lulled by lies
or be seduced by sweet-talking
traitors who intend to keep you
quiet and meek and trusting
of the system and irrevocably
enslaved by the appearance
of comfort in your oppression.
This is not the time to be staring
glossy eyed into the distance
and hope that the voices of
a handful of heroes are enough
to turn the tables, or be satisfied
that your hashtags are
scratching the surface
of the ugliness whose brunt
you assume will be handled
by the next ones.
There are no next ones.
There will be no one left
if you spend any more days
standing in the fallout of this
deliberate and methodical
annihilation of everything
that belongs to you, everything
that is rightfully yours.
This is the time to build, to rise,
to take it all back, to break it all
down, to throw their stereotypes
at their faces, to love your brother,
to love your sister, to realize
the strength in your numbers,
to feel the power and the greatness
of your ancestors pounding
in your veins, to stop selling
your beautiful self short,
to stop running back into the fog
where the lines between their
impunity and your forbearance
are hazed up on purpose
to deceive you, just because
it’s all they’re willing to give.
Feel indignant. Be fed up.
Get outraged and for Heaven’s
sake, don’t take their words
as empty tokens for your justice.
Not today. Not anymore.