poetry

All Lives Matter

All Lives
don’t get found
hung
on four different occasions
from trees
in 2020 America
and ruled a suicide

All Lives
don’t utter the words
I can’t breathe
over their last breath
while in police custody 

All Lives
are not handcuffed
by blue uniforms
and shot
dead
execution style
in front of witnesses 

All Lives
are not
shot dead
while sleeping
in their car 

All Lives
are not killed
for taking shortcuts home
armed
with a sandwich
or an iced tea
and a bag of candy 

All Lives
are not taken alive
in police cars
or wagons
and arrive at police stations
with broken bones
bruised
black eyes
and
dead 

All Lives
are not shot in the back
while running from police
after being pulled over
and seeing the officer
break his tail light
and
after he is shot dead
the officer
places a spare pistol
next to his dead body
luckily
it was all
caught on camera 

All Lives
are not shot
dead
for refusing to turn down the music 

All Lives
are not shot
dead
on camera
for walking away from a police officer 

All Lives
do not have to remain
two hands
squeezing
imprinting the shape of the steering wheel
in palms
after witnessing
their fiancé
shot dead
for following the instructions
of a police officer
scared
of Black skin 

All Lives
are not toddlers
saying
don’t cry momma
from the back seat
while
all that real life
and death trauma
is taking place 

All Lives
Do not get murdered
while praying
in Baptist churches

All Lives
don’t witness the murderer
in custody
enjoying a fast food burger
before going to jail 

These are just the deaths 

If I mentioned
all the injustices
All Lives
do not have to suffer
in America
by historic example
this list would be
at the very least
157 years long 

Proving
All Lives Don’t Matter
until
Black Lives Matter

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