Black Riddled Red

Black boy at risk. Routine stop and frisk.

Innocence confused by color.  Soiled fingers rest on pristine triggers.

“Officer please” chimes as bullets find speaker.

Untried. Sentenced to death. Judge and jury, badge and gun. Breath.

Dreams undone when black hands rose. A red chest heaving.  A stranger screaming. An officer repeating. “He was reaching.”

Clean trigger fingers fondle a fading pulse. Death reaping.

“He’s stopped breathing.”

An officer realizing this death will read race. New stands holding tales of his hands. Ink willed to paint his face.

Time fades ink, jury pardons crime, tears no longer gush. Salt trickles, as years dissolve memories.

The badge will shine pristine, yet hands will always be soiled. A mother will forever greave dreams that never materialized. A community will resume raising hands to the badge in fear of the color they plead with.

Black riddled red when black hands rise instead of white.

With words I fight.

spilled tears


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