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
and
greedy fingers grab for more
power
more money, more leverage
pushing forward
more hate
 
Injustice flourishes.
A thorny vine
grows and grows
Cutting
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
Twisted
Weaponized
so
people are no longer people,
but
“urban”
“illegal immigrant”
“thug”
“danger to society”
 
Ahmaud Arbery
Dangerous?
Or future electrician?
Breonna Taylor
Dangerous?
Or life-saving professional?
Tamir Rice
Dangerous?
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:
Selfishness
‘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