Sep 21
poem challenge: BLM

i can't breathe

I can’t breathe
with all the hate
in this world.
Like poison,
a radioactive cancer that spreads
and destroys
People are people
I believe.
But hate tells lies
that deny
Ugly words, distorted images
careless insinuations
find a foothold
greedy fingers grab for more
more money, more leverage
pushing forward
more hate
Injustice flourishes.
A thorny vine
grows and grows
Cutting off the breath
Cutting off the life
Cutting deep
to the bone
of our humanity
I can’t breathe
with all the ignorance
in people.
Thoughts clouded
Words corrupted
people are no longer people,
“illegal immigrant”
“danger to society”
Ahmaud Arbery
Or future electrician?
Breonna Taylor
Or life-saving professional?
Tamir Rice
Or a child playing in the street?
Broken lives
crushed on the ground
like trash:
a discarded cigarette butt
a brass shell casing
a plastic toy gun
I can’t breathe
with all the racism
in all of us.
Let’s call it what it is:
‘I am better than you’
‘I deserve more than you’
‘I will take what’s mine and you get nothing’
The American Dream
‘Anybody can achieve anything’
really means--
Only a few get what they want.
The rest
Settle for shreds
Struggle for justice
Strive for respect
‘Me first’
Makes me want to scream:
I can’t breathe