The SAME Tears

We keep crying the same tears; the helpless, empty, hurtful ones.

Stealing our lives like it’s their right!

Blatant disrespect…

In broad, bright, and sunny daylight!

A mocking threat?

My mind bounces between black realities.

Sharing painful memories.

With those in the same skin as me.

Like a bonded teleportation machine.

Flashbacks that come and go.

Inhaling the last breathes of my fellow Negroes.

AGAIN: THIS TIME…

A knee to the neck.

In Minneapolis | in May | On a Monday

My mind machine placed me at the scene

That’s when I heard something…

I leaned in to hear it this time clear as day.

I heard Mr. Floyd say:

“I … C A N ‘T… B R E A T H E”

I heard his BLACK neck bones crickety-crunching under that relentless white knee

I heard his mind telling him: “THIS IS IT. THIS IS WHERE I DIE”

His dead eyes as he took his last breath staring at me

Urging me to ask:

Were you comfortable Officer?

Did his neck feel better than the ground?

Was there no other way to pin him down?

Cuffed, breathless you must like that sound.

Why you always trying to keep us down?

How many black lives must be taken by police brutality?

How come you tell us we’re free when we aren’t free?

Now it’s just unbearable every time one of us dies.

The sobs of our families are so alarming.

I can hardly sleep at night: Deafening, ear-splitting cries.

They keep haunting me: haunting us.

We keep crying the same tears.

The smell of prejudice-death is stomach-churning.

All that hate, all those lynchings.

From thousands and thousands of imploding,

dead BLACK bodies over the centuries.

⁃ Rotten dreams that never hatched

⁃ Assassinated leaders

⁃ Dead hopes

⁃ Sagging stories stinking of similar ancient skin curses

We keep crying the same tears.

They’ve kept their knees on our necks for years.

We remember masters and auctioneers.

Slavery like puppets and their puppeteers.

Our nightmares are a reality.

We can’t wake up.

W E… C A N ‘T… B R E A T H E

We can’t benefit from a supremacy.

I will no longer sit and watch silently.

I won’t make a bed with the enemy.

I won’t let you lie to me.

I won’t let you tell me you see us equally.

We keep crying the same tears.

Your loss of words is a choice!

You have the power in your voice!

I don’t want to read anymore.

The emotional pain engrosses my body.

AGAIN: AH! FLASHBACK.

Mind dropped in Georgia, Glynn County.

The trees standing sharp-eyed.

The violent air swishing, whooshing to warn them.

THUD…THUD…THUD, on the pavement.

Thudding.

I hear thudding, a rhythmic kind.

Alas, I was there aside Mr. Arbery.

He was the same age as me, 25.

His jogging rhythm sounded a lot like mine — BLACK.

I ran with him. I still run with him. We all run with him.

WHEN WILL WE STOP RUNNING?

Riots increasing…

We’re confronting…

“Don’t riot. Don’t set aflame. Don’t loot.”

But how many times we beg you to not shoot?

Because we keep crying the same tears.

Retract that moment, I breathed the same air Arbery did.

I felt his heartbeat pounding in MY chest unaware it would be the last thumping he’d hear

FOREVER.

Cause some prejudice, heartless whites thought they were clever.

I feel sick just wondering what they’d thought pulling that trigger.

“I’m gonna kill this nigger!”

Then y’all got the nerve to ask why we’re so bitter?

Because we keep crying the same tears

I don’t have words strong enough!

But am enough!

We are enough!

We’re getting racism on bold replay.

Rewinding our anger on display,

But today is the last day… I will sit here and be okay.

We must stand.

We must rise.

We must use one voice,

Look them in the eyes,

AND SAY— W E… C A N ‘T… B R E A T H E.

2 Comments on “The SAME Tears

  1. This poem is powerful. I’m sorry you are going thru this. There’s so much hate swirling around that makes it seem hopeless but people do care about what happens to you and all black people in this country. I hope this time the ground is actually shifting beneath our feet. I have to have faith that Americans, myself included, are getting pulled out of our compliance, willful or not, with the system that encourages this violence. I believe there are many more people that support black people’s right to peace and safety than not- but we have to get off the sidelines and put our support into action

    Liked by 1 person

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