First They Came For The Black People: An Ode To Lady Justice

visions of people

in my dreams

lines and lines

of left, right

left behind

leave all your belongings

you won’t need them

giant computer screens

names and numbers

from tattooed bar-codes

scanned by young women

progress

IBM stock rising

again

like the thermostat

and sweat beads on my forehead

and I can’t move

packed so tight

just like boot camp-cattle cars

but that was the choice

of a naive 18 year old

this?

Oh, this…

I suppose a choice as well

see,

first they came for the black people

and I didn’t speak up

and now I can no longer breathe

wear my heart on my sleeve

you can have it,

it’s broken

for humanity

rather,

the lack thereof

still lacking love

after all these years

and all these fears instilled from an early age

tear out page after page

and escape this cage,

it was never locked

just a mental block

an imagined brick wall

mental prison walls fall

this is where it begins

cleanse me of my sins

racism

and sexism

and homophobia

sins

fear

and apathy

sins

Indifference

and selfishness

sins

of the founding fathers…

“Compromise, conformity,

assimilation, submission

Ignorance, hypocrisy,

brutality, the elite

All of which are American dreams”

Rage,

Rage against

the machine…

Aiyana Jones

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Oscar Grant

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Sean Bell

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Tarika Wilson

“I Can’t Breathe…”

John Crawford

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Amadou Diallo

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Ramarley Graham

“I Can’t Breathe…”

DeAunta Terrel Farrow

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Rekia Boyd

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Tamir Rice

“I Can’t Breathe…”

Kiwane Carrington

“I Can’t Breathe……………………………….”

Eric Garner

stuck in this American

nightmare

wake up

at the top of your lungs now

use that last breath

scream

JUSTICE

let it echo to the depths

of the Grand Canyon

and off the high rises

of Lower Manhattan

JUSTICE

echoing in the nostrils of dead presidents

in stolen Black Hills

and in Indian graves

beneath Wal-Mart parking lots

JUSTICE

echoing off the banks

of the rivers of Babylon

and off the walls

of the Khyber Pass

JUSTICE

echoing

sound waves

breaking windows of courthouses

and crooked cop cars

JUSTICE

from sea

to shining badges aren’t licenses

to kill

JUSTICE

echoing throughout the Pentagons courtyard

JUSTICE

Echoing in the halls of congress

JUSTICE

from sea to shining

handcuffs for screaming

JUSTICE

no matter who it’s for or against

like Malcolm screamed

TRUTH

and Lady JUSTICE

choked out by the long arm of the law

sister Liberty stuck

on an island

her hands up

sign of distress to the heavens

can’t help

shooting star wishing

well running dry

alligator tears

crying

injustice for all

blood on our hands

forgive me,

sins unforgiven

wash them away with tap water

and Dr. Bronners

it has to be organic

this revolution,

don’t panic

but get off the train

we’re alright for now

but if you don’t wake up

it will kill you

don’t fret, it’s just rain

outside

fear nothing

and no man

and fuck 9 to five

emancipate ourselves

mental chains

and shackles

fall apart

with each new book off the shelf

read

read

read

lets write our own revolution

turn off the TV and follow me…

no, walk beside

hand in hand

lets turn off this scripted reality

can’t stand this corporate insanity

these Edward Bernays

smoke signals to our soul

false alarms telling us where to go

what to do

and which boogeyman is hiding

beneath our bed

and in our closets

forget terror threats

and color codes,

lets flip the script

dive headfirst into the unknown

don’t just dip our toe

and don’t forget the innocent

left rotting on death row

and in bombed out villages

in Baghdad

the ghetto

and the West Bank

and don’t forget

the guilty

that thin blue line

and the those inside the beltway

and down on Wall Street

still raking in the dough

who knows,

maybe their hearts can grow like the Grinch…

but for now I’ve got to go,

there’s work to be done

I won’t forget

I won’t give up on you

won’t give in

won’t waste my breath

precious

fill these lungs

scream

JUSTICE

so long as I breathe

I’ll fight for truth,

and justice

and peace

and I’ll fight beside you

because you matter…

and I know

that you would fight too

if first

they came for me…

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