Background Noise

“I can’t see you in the crowd!”
(Unspoken words can be so loud)
An equilibrium disturbed.
I’m always split; my focus splayed.
Enjoy the now? But past betrays,
A violence on reverb.

My body tense, my muscles primed,
Will I move in nick of time,
As evil bursts from its disguise?
I claim a place; I call it ours
And hate what within me cowers for
I know. I know its million lives.

I walk o’er hose and noose and gun.
I vet white souls who near me come.
’Cause rage hides itself so well.
It looks to vent when self’s to blame.
It goes beneath, erupts again,
Colors every day, this bit of hell.

Come cry with me as corners grow
Where flowers sit beside candle’s glow,
And cameras catch another death.
My tears remain while yours can dry.
Blow out the flames; blow out Black lives.
You hoard the air; I hold my breath.


To Nikky Finney