My wrists may not bleed with the cuts of chains,
But my rambunctious roar for freedom
Continues to be muted like elevator music,
Songs you bypassed and never cared to play.
My back may not be swollen with a whip
Racing across my skin,
But my spine is sore with weight you continue to place,
Like backpacks filled with loaded guns of
“Go back to where you came from.”
I stand behind court systems and law enforcers
Biased to the loss of pigmentation
And submerged in this capitalistic divider called “race,”
Telling me that you are not my brother or sister or sibling
Because we are not the same.
Strange fruit no longer hangs from the poplar trees,
But from the cells of prisons you cannot see
And in the paths of bullets you claim to have shot righteously.
We act as though the world is drenched in liberty
Because we stand here in the twenty first century,
And it may be a new number but it’s not a new thing,
Emmett Till 1955, Sandra Bland 2015.
We’re still watching black and white TV
Because they chose not to broadcast
The redness of your police brutality.
Of my siblings being shot in the street like deer hunting.
Some inhumane sport for dehumanized things.
And the others being beaten for protesting,
Like venomous bugs infesting your pantry.
You’ve upgraded from slave ships
To black and white cars with shiny flashing lights.
Arresting us like you’re digesting us,
A dark meat behind bars.
Stating we’ve come so far,
Though your finger’s laying on your trigger.
All you expect is criminal behavior.
But you see, the real criminal here,
Stands with a golden badge on his chest
And a rifle in his hand,
Protecting what you call, a “Free land.”
Words: Gabrielle Gorman
Illustration: Apoorva Bisht