For Rashan Charles

Raymond Antrobus
And after the black boy is
strangled by police, after
 
the protests where the man,
his Rottweiler on an iron leash yells,  
 
let's go mash up dis city
and another crowd bulks,
 
the parents of the murdered
beg us not to become
 
the monsters some think
we already are—even when
 
the barista shakes her head
at the banners, says actually,
 
police be killing whites too.
Look how scary it is
 
to be here and know
if we die someone
 
will make a sound
like her before earth
 
is tipped over us.
Who hasn’t had enough?
 
Enough burning
bins, pushing
 
shopping trolleys
into static and sirens?
 
Who isn’t chanting
enough, enough,
 
enough, throwing spells,
the rebellious
 
holding what they can
in front of a supermarket
 
or police stations
or voting booths—I am
 
kind to the man
sitting next to me
 
in C.L.R James Library, even if
his breathing disturbs me.
 
Can we disagree graciously
I am tired of people
 
not knowing the volume
of their power. Who doesn’t
 
deserve
some silence at night?

Related Poems

juxtaposing the black boy & the bullet

one is hard & the other tried to be

          one is fast & the other was faster

                    one is loud & one is a song
                    with one note & endless rest
          
                     one's whole life is a flash

        both spend their life
        trying to find a warmth to call home

both spark quite the debate,
some folks want to protect them/some think we should just get rid
                                      of the damn things all together.