In Our Place

They are reminding us
of our place
within the lines of subordination:
Lest we forget
that a statue’s legacy has greater value
than any blood running through brown skin
Lest we believe
for one moment
that our lives
could matter more
than their hurt feelings
Where they find fault
in our very existence
and
our human tendency to make mistakes
is punishable by death
because there’s always
something
we
should
have
done
to prevent excessive force used against us
by any means necessary
always necessary
to tame the threat
we pose

 

Where daring to speak out
against acts of brutality
makes us anti-police
and therefore anti-American
because the standards
we’re expected to meet
are always elevated further
as we approach them
so they can show us
just how close we almost came
(maybe next time)
Where our humanity
is so casually disregarded
sons of bitches we are
for daring to kneel in defiance
of an unjust system
whose rules bend only for those
with the power to
limbo below them or
lift the bar as they choose
whose voices can tell us
what it is
we are refusing to stand for
muting our outcries and
retelling bastardized versions of
stories that feature our
caricatures
instead
They’ve pandered so hard
to their collective guilt
they believe they’ve done
no harm
and in fact
they’ve done so much to
help us
they just don’t understand
how we could be
so
angry
so
bitter
so
ungrateful
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