philando loved

“my son loved this city
and this city killed my son”

the child watched
her voice was calmer than ours
and because of her eyes
because she smelled the gun smoke
and listened to death
because she tried to comfort her mother
it seemed there was a pure wrong
seemed that everyone could see
this man through child’s eyes
that this man followed the rules
that this man swallowed his dignity
and then died with it in his throat
belted in
witnessed in real time
pushed right out of his own body

we learn again and again and again
that in this nightmare, there is no rule
nothing we do in our skin is right enough
in a nation that never feels white enough
there is only fear, quivering on triggers
smashing life underfoot
justifying itself

or love, learning to hold tight
and then learning to govern
without obliteration
of anyone’s wholeness
all of us ignorant in at least one direction
and yet holding each other
pale knuckles and pounding hearts

daily we have more proof,
more reason to be afraid
and more cause to “love each other
and protect each other,
we have nothing to lose”
we have nothing to lose

we have nothing more to lose
than our very selves
let’s lose this not enough no good
bloody mess of a nation
let’s lose any borders within which
justice cannot prosper
let’s become a sanctuary species
let us love a place
and do more than survive it
let us love a place not in spite of itself
but because we are creating it

let us make a world
worthy of a child’s eyes