My blackness isn’t an excuse to hide

every time there’s a protest.

because I don’t want to die

I am not prepared to rest in my cause.


My mom tells me to

sit at home.


But why does it matter?

I can get killed for being black anywhere

not just at a protest. 

My melanin is a weapon in their eyes

any day.



There are black men being hunted like deer

moving targets with bulls-eyes

 taped to their heads

didn’t they know

that being black is

 a crime in itself.

Their melanin is a weapon in blue eyes



Last week I played a game of Russian roulette

Pushing off fixing my brake light 

Wondering which turn

would be my last with  

my melanin strapped to me

 like a gun


Deborah Olaniyan