July 13th and Privilege

I think you are lucky
not because I feel you have not been through hardship
nor do I think everything has been handed to you
I am sure you have worked very hard to get where you are
But, I think you are lucky
Not because I could walk a mile in your shoes
In fact, I am almost certain I could not take a step outside of my own body

But you are lucky
to be able to detach yourself from stories like this
To enter and exit conversations as you wish
That you can drop your two cents and walk away – You are lucky to be able to walk away
That you can be called rational when you say things like
“At the very heart of this case a man was murdered, he should have been put away for that”
Believing you are on the right side of history with such statements

While I wonder how it is so easy for you to call him a man
When I could only ever call him a son, a boy, a child
You are lucky to not see the similarities between Trayvon and Stephen
To say this is an American Judicial Problem not a global one
That England is “another world entirely”
You are lucky you do not have to carry this on your back

On the night I found out about the zimmerman verdict
I cried my eyes out
Paced up and down my street, wondering who would be next
Putting love hearts on post-it notes warning black families
not to watch the news the next morning

That night, not guilty didn’t mean insufficient evidence
or a right to so called self-defence
Not guilty meant “You are Unworthy of Our Protection even in Death”
Not guilty was a white flag that did not mean surrender
Not guilty told us even mothers do not empathise
with the murder of our children
That our children will always be put on trial
No matter who pulls the trigger

That you will hold your right to bear arms close to heart
regardless of how much blood spills,
how many lives lost,
how many knees drop to the floor in wailing prayer
It told us that you will distance your kids
Just to see if you can still hit the mark from here

So I think you are lucky
To be able to have a birds eye view
While we stand in the middle of it
One eye to our backs
The other on our feet
Making sure we are ready when we need to


in memory of Victoria Arellano 

They will sell your limbs
and forget some of us only have our sense of self to stand on
That a country can raise and betray you
Status: Illegal

Your wrists bloody from twists
and turns. Nightmare in a cell – human form forced into bare mattress
Like me, you were made of water
I wonder if your tears
were a way of your body rejecting itself?
Status: HIV+

There are some things we are not taught about hunger
Such as the way our bones crave flesh
The way that flesh wants skin
And how skin can survive everything but confinement
Status: Unworthy of Medical Attention

We imagine it started with the slurs
You slipped reckoning into their venom tongues,
Mexican, Immigrant, Transgender, Woman – You were too much truth
So they cuffed you to metal bed
and waited for your voice to wear out

It is 2013 now

Status: Victim
Status: Remembered
Status: Loved

12am freewrite 12/07/13

she was 19 years of the dust her mother collected from photo albums
kept putting herself back into a box labeled ‘not enough’ the second he left,

everyone knows wedding dresses crease easy

and when the twin hills called her name in the dead of night
she would turn to her side and
breathe through punctured lungs
letting men turn her into cave paintings and become bats upon her navel
yearning for a place she never knew,
where the sun would cast her out and insects abandon her

these days when she is seen they whisper
“the tales of immigrant children are never as exciting as the market places they ran from”
photo albums never knew truths like that