We Chose Death

Dear Christina Grimmie,
I’m sorry for my country.
I apologize for the evil bullet
That sent your singing soul to heaven
A deadly autograph, fatal photo
That meet and greet cost you life.
How much did it cost him to buy that magazine?

Dear Pulse,
I’m sorry for ignorance.
I apologize for the machine guns
Ripping muscles and tearing hearts
From chests amidst dancing disco love
So much love weeping in bloody, bloody bathrooms
Keep kissing, that is all we can ask
And we do not deserve to ask you anything.

Dear Alton Sterling,
I’m sorry for my country.
I apologize for the firearm
Loosed too easily because you look different
To the man holding it.
“Get on the ground,” they told you.
I think America is already there.

Dear Philando Castile,
I’m sorry for ignorance.
I apologize for the officer
Afraid of a man with darker skin.
I’m afraid, too.
Not of getting pulled over. No, not really.
I’m white.
I would live.
I fear, instead, the people that still look at people
And see something other than a person.

Dear Dallas,
I’m sorry for my country.
I apologize for the hate sprayed from those
You seek to protect, or at least most of you do.
We forget not everyone is a racist.
I wish you did not need guns.
I wish I could not buy a gun.
I wish streets and concerts and elementary schools were safe for you
And for me
And for anyone who doesn’t look like us.

Dear America,
I’m angry at your citizens and your congressmen
At laws that keep filling graves
At education that keeps white whales afloat a sea of black inferiority
Soon we will need more cemeteries than prisons
And schools will be mausoleums.

We claim to be the land of the free
But to shoot one another is no privilege.
The Second Amendment has become an impediment.
Please, please,
Let us infringe.
I beg to lose my liberty
Or have we already?

Land of the free, walls we built ourselves
Pockmarked by bullets.
Our golden valleys run bloody
Like tragic red Civil War fields, boys buried in blue.
Do we remember that? Do we recall
Equality, or a dream of such?
It whispers to me still,
That maybe we can learn to love.

But right now the screams are louder
Terrified shrieks of
Black fear, brown fear
He loves a he fear.

I’m sorry that we are too ignorant
to hear
human heartbeats and cries and shouts
as humanity.

Rights to life, liberty, happiness
These rights are not right

Give me liberty, or give me death
How have we chosen death?


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