This poem, The Window Speaks, reflects upon #BlackLivesMatter, #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and the current state of America.
You haven’t shattered me fully. But I am tired. So tired.
No one hears my soliloquy of flashlight eyes
you are inside, breaking bread
you are alone, your strands swept up into a safe cocoon
I hear you yell at the TV “Ugh, this prejudice has to end!”
while your knees are pressing the couch
hindlegs hiding in hair—where is your real fire?
slapped me with saltwater on slave ships,
but I still say his name at sunrise when I wake up gasping EMMETT
Rearrange his letters into streaked fingerprints—“meet” me
on the other side, Emmett, give George Floyd his mother’s warmth and a pillow for his neck,
I, too, can’t move, I am stained black and blue
I have always been stained, glass refrained
from comment. Refrained from action.
Contained in this “house” because they said we shouldn’t talk about uncomfortable things
I am unlearning and relearning history.
This is racism&police brutality we throw in a skillet
like it’s lunch on a Sunday, we need to call it on the menu what it really is = murder
and yes, I was the one who saw Langston Hughes
sent to the kitchen as the darker brother
in a house where there was only gesture and a name and silence
I feel hot. Like Ahmaud Arbery. Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner.
Maybe you don’t have a temperature, but acknowledge that “I see no color” is the problem because color exists; we created it.
When I can’t fall asleep at night I remember
the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. I exploded
with those four little girls. I exploded for the entire world.
Some days I live inside Lincoln. Remind him he certainly didn’t get it all right.
I look out his gray pupils and can’t breathe.
I whisper in his ear that there are still shadows on these steps
and the microphone of MLK Jr is ringing “a riot is the language
of the unheard.” I’m listening.