Ode To The Black Man by Adriana Parker

To the black men with metal cuffs on wrists suffocating their skin
Let me kiss them
Because I know they hurt too
Amerikkka has had it out for you
Labeled you gangsta
Hood n*****
Or all of the above

And swore those words were somehow all different
But just because you came from the struggle doesn't mean you have to be contained in it

It doesn't matter if you dress in tailored suits instead of hoodies and baggy pants and fitted caps
Those Ralph Lauren suits won't stop those bullets in your backs
Because Martin and Malcolm ran in with death too…
What does that say for you?

Power rests in the shiny pistols in holsters on their hips
Officers set here to provide and protect
Just kill and neglect

They washed their hands clean of the black blood of your brothers with our tears
"F*** YOUR BREATH!" they said
They led us to body bags in the streets and unmarked gravestones
Lined us up against graffiti filled walls of the colored neighborhoods of Ferguson
Staten Island, New York

But let us not forget the ones not looking down the barrel of a gun

You are lions who roar with might
Who prowl the lands with pride
And all the gold badges and black and blue suits can see is a demon
Or a beast

But your beauty runs freely
Spills out like bubbles in a champagne bottle
And I can't stay sober

Your stride leaks with strength and power and that pride they try to suppress
What good are your chants? Your screams? Your protests?

I've seen your nightmares of white tees that bear RIP and your name assigned to morgue drawers and burial sites
I've heard you sing hymns from the mountaintops and cry to your mothers at night
I've felt your fear of breaking bones beneath their fingers and toes and running away but hearing a POP BANG before falling face forth

Black bodies lying in the street…
Lying in the dirt…

Now I see the sun bounce off the glossiness of your melanin filled skin
Oscar, Michael, Eric, Tamir, Walter, Freddie, and my kin
They all just wanted some place to dance in
To tap their feet to the rhythm of love me, love me

don't hurt me

I cause no harm

I am unarmed

There is still life in me
But I cannot breathe