bleach (for Alton Sterling & Philando Castile & all the others)

bleach whitens clothes ‘n teeth
it doesn’t whiten skin
coffee, chocolate & mocha
are the colors my people come in

my skin is the colour of sand
my beloved’s skin is white
oblivious to my colour
he holds me close in bed each night

black skin feels just the same
as our white counterparts
but many cops don’t realise that –
they leave black mothers with broken hearts

5 shots or 11
17, 41
the black death toll keeps rising
but true justice is never done

Ghandi, Martin, Mandela
I can hear their calls for peace
but justice endlessly denied
will seek violence as a release

this evening I’ll add bleach to my washing
so my favourite blouse stays white
‘n at bedtime I’ll pray for those 2 black mothers
who’ll cry themselves to sleep tonight

copyright © 2016 KPM