Criminal silence

Like dog shit we have scooped history
Into a trash bin
Like an accused witch we have
Burned it at the stake
Like a despised whore we have
Buried it at midnight

History will rise from its shallow grave
It will catapult from the closet
It will shout at us from every wall and rooftop
It will sit next to us on a dark sidewalk
When a young man with a gun follows another
Young man armed with junk food and life
History will be the judge when another verdict
Falls in line with two centuries of crosses and strange fruit
History will flood our veins and quicken our
Hearts at the site of injustice
History will lick our brains with its fire
So that there is more than delusion to fertilize
Our collective imagination

Tattoo these words into your retina
Wear them on your chest
Let them blind you from the blinking
Billboards of Times Square:
History’s hot breath tinged with those
Whose ground this once really was
Is breathing down the necks of all
Who “stand their ground”
And the rest of us, their accomplices,
Are carrying the full weight of the verdict
For the clear non-semantical criminality
Of our silence

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8 thoughts on “Criminal silence”

  1. Powerful work and so many great lines, brilliant I would have to copy and paste the whole poem in order to point out my favorites because I loved every word! I loved the ferocity with which you wrote, the passion, the rebellion =)

  2. It is my usual practice to respond to every comment that I get, but in this case I am just heart-broken and disgusted and all I can muster is a collective thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am happy to continue the conversation, but feel like it is time for action. So if anyone has any ideas/suggestions/plans, please, share them. We need a civil discussion on so many issues in this country, race and gender being the most pressing.

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