#BlaPoWriMo: Boycott the Dark Girl

Boycott the dark girl!

Don’t tell them about race. Middle America
doesn’t want to face your afros and wide nose,
your full lips and round hips.

Boycott the dark girl!

Rip open your blouse, measure the humpback
on which a nation’s edifices are housed,
count the scars from raw cowhide
whipped into formation of a chokecherry plantation.

Boycott the dark girl!

Mend your heartstrings across the violin bridge,
play an empowering song by raising your fist.
Splash shades of brown throughout the stadium field—
a prism of acceptance, their politics must yield.

Boycott the dark girl!

A call for peace, an end to violence
is an attack, they say.
You were beaten, raped,
your genitals dissected and put on display.

Dance on the boycott, dark girl.

Hatred can’t make them turn you away.
Your purple skin is imperial. Reclaim your domain
as you slay on the stage in Black Panther berets.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons

Continue reading “#BlaPoWriMo: Boycott the Dark Girl”

Bloganuary Day 29

Today, I learned that another Black man was murdered in the street by police.

I am gobsmacked. I am disgusted. I am enraged. Words cannot properly express the kaleidoscope of emotions I am feeling right now.

When will the violence stop? How many more people have to die before they learn that excessive use of force is not necessary? Why can’t they see that they are not at war with foreign invaders?

These are their own people!

Law enforcement does not equal execution!

I haven’t watched the video. I’ve read enough to know what happened, and still I am in a state of confusion and shock.

I’ve stopped watching the news to protect my mental sanity, and ever since Philando Castile, I have avoided watching videos of police killings, because that one tore me to shreds. I had nightmares—his little girl’s voice trying to calm her wailing mother echoing in my head. I don’t want this to become so commonplace that videos and bodycam footage are released every week like our favorite primetime crime dramas, desensitizing us to the brutality these poor victims suffered.

This isn’t right. I don’t care what wrong he was suspected of doing (and based on reports, those dirty cops lied about that). What happened to innocent until proven guilty? What happened to our constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishment?

What happened to Tyre Nichols wasn’t just cruel and unusual. It was of the devil: pure evil. And the fact that the officers who committed this crime were Black just proves that the system of policing in America is corrupt at a fundamental level. They are thugs, criminals. They jumped that man like it was a gang initiation.

I hope they are punished to the fullest extent of the law and more, so they know how it feels, because that’s what they deserve.

I have no pity for them. None. Ask God for mercy, because you won’t get it from me. Pigs.

#BlaPoWriMo: FTP

I keep a list of names in my chest pocket

and wear it like a bullet-proof vest.

Trayvon Martin

Sandra Bland

A scroll that writes itself each

time the pigs shout “Hands up!”

Tamir Rice

Philando Castile

Then pull the trigger. It descends

to my feet, lays a path by which

Michael Brown

Walter Scott

I march toward the Capitol steps

to call for justice. I roll it tighter

Eric Garner

Breonna Taylor

The longer it gets. One day it will

be thick enough to block the

Ahmaud Arbery

George Floyd

Bullets when they shoot. But

when that happens, who truly wins?

#BlaPoWriMo: Together We . . .

Together we hood our faces,
stuff our pockets with
Skittles and Arizona tea.

Together we lose the air
to our lungs from cigarette
smoke, forearms curled
around our throats.

Together we put our hands up,
surrender to tear gas
and rubber bullets
on the evening news.

Together we are body-slammed
in bathing suits, flipped
over school desks, strangled
from showerheads, executed
where children play.

Together we pray for peace
as strangers wave battle
flags, hide assault
rifles behind Bibles.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons 

#BlaPoWriMo: Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Raise your hands above your head.
Pray, he doesn’t see your wallet,
doesn’t mistake it for a gun,
doesn’t pull the trigger five times,
five more when you turn to run.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons

Escaped the Bullet

My left arm feels like it’s on fire. Something is protruding from my shoulder. Bone? I throw my head back and scream.

“Quiet!” he says from the front seat.

Two minutes. I was two minutes from Ace Hardware. Two minutes from buying the screws and screwdriver that would secure my drive home. No more nervous glances in my rearview mirror. No more fear of flashing blue lights.

Continue reading “Escaped the Bullet”