Don't Shoot

 

Sometimes I don’t know where to put my eyes
to meet you across
this distance

of history
this distance 
of my face and skin

Sometimes I don’t know where to put my hands
to touch you across
this distance

of so much blood
your torn flesh
my awkward hands

(How can you shoot an unarmed man in the entrance 
to his home forty-one times and not be guilty?)

(How can you shoot an unarmed man face down on the ground
in the back and not be guilty?)

I turn my hands to the
sky

my eyes to the 
earth

as an act of atonement,
not just for your death
but for this distance

they keep calling
the american
dream.




In memory of Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant and too many sons and daughters to name.