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To the God on Earth: Black Lives Matter

To the God on Earth: Black Lives Matter

I sit down to write
a lament for the dead
I never knew

I cannot recall
all their names

The young man
with the broken neck
or spinal cord
and the “rough ride”
through Maryland
despite his cries

“I hurt.”
“I am in pain.”
“I am human.”

I am angry
angry at myself — 
what was his name?
Angry at the news — 
why has he disappeared
from headlines?
Angry at our common,
off-kilter
humanity

I google
“Maryland black man killed”

Freddie Gray
appears, his name, his face
his spinal cord eighty percent severed
his hands and feet, shackled
his inability to brace himself
against metal van walls
like a high-dive head first
into pavement

Piece it together, his spine, 
his story, someone,
make it make
sense

Black lives matter

God in heaven
lift the earth up
by its ragged edges
give it a good shake

Sandra Bland
she protested, too
her voice
unheard
unheeded

“I am human”
“I’ve done nothing wrong”
“I changed lanes
so you could pass me by
not pin me down”

not pin me down
to the ground
to the ground

May the God on earth
hear our cries

May the God on earth
forgive
our acts of omission
the right, the just
we fail to do

As we lay down our lives
for the dead
that they’ve not died in vain
that they’ve not died in vain

 

 

 

 

 

Visual Artist: Timothy Beltran del Rio 

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