Around the country cities roil, surging with an ache and a cry, descendants of chains, of hopes, of hangings, of sit-ins, sons and daughters of daily prayers, arms raised to receive an inheritance of tears, black and white and Brown.
I sit inside, far from any protest, days away from a holiday about thanks. I read page after page after page of comments on twitter — it’s the fast food of thought, I’m not hungry anymore but neither am I full. I turn away from one screen to another to watch a black President who tonight looks pale as he urges calm, and my daughter sleeps.
Let her sleep, and sleep. When she wakes up, I’ll do everything I can to smile,
because it only takes a couple of murders of young black boys to fear a thousand more, it only takes a few minutes to remember the hours Michael lay there in the street, it only takes one sweet thing on the tip of my tongue to remember a packet of Skittles and Trayvon walking home in the dark.
And even as I write, I fear — against the inadequacy of speech, against the consuming grief, against the anger and the police — what are a few more words?
And what is this — a poem? I don’t know. Lately, any words I manage to put down with intention are a prayer, any words that carry the coded language of my heart, a song.