Alton Sterling by Ki'Amber Thompson

How many times have we cried ourselves to sleep

Upon hearing about the murder of Black people

Upon realizing–knowing–that there will be no justice for us

No matter the volume of tears that absorb into our bed sheets

Or the blood that absorbs into the concrete

That we saw in the video footage taken by a bystander

And we didn’t have to–no, didn’t want to–watch the video of our brother’s death on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook to know that the story would be all too familiar

 

All too repetitive, on loop, played over and over and over and over and over and over again

 

All too demeaning

How many times can you watch the murder of Black people before you become desensitized

Or are you already there?

Do the 13 or 3 inch screens that you stare into trap all of the feeling?

Or does it pour out of you like 6 shots and onto your bed sheets and into your fists and into your words and onto the keyboard you use to post on social media and onto the streets as you march and onto the street like his blood?

 

All heavy

Like being 200 pounds and tackled to the ground

Like the sobs of his 15 year old son

Fall heavy on my ears

All heavy

Like his chest must have been from heaving in and out trying to process the pain he felt as his mother's heavy words dragged themselves into the mic

And the camera must have been too heavy to turn its gaze away

His hurt too heavy for that stage

And we process our heavy through watching the heavy of his family

 

Maybe we get used to the heaviness

I never get used to the heaviness

It's always heavy

I wonder if officers get used to the heaviness of their guns

Or if the weight feels natural, all too comfortable, in their hands, finger on the trigger

Their fingers always heavy against the trigger

I wonder if they ever feel the weight of the blood on their hands

I wonder how they get up out of bed every morning and how their feet carry all their weight, knowing that they've snatched a man from the arms of his children and the lips of his woman

 

All too repetitive, on loop, played over and over and over and over and over and over again

 

How many times have we cried and then done nothing about it the next day?

 

All too repetitive, on loop, played over and over and over and over and over and over again

  

We know the process

This system runs on a loop

And the video of another black body dying at the hands of the state gets posted and played

over and over and over and over and over and over again

Posted on August 10, 2016 and filed under Poetry, Creative Expression.