Your silver won’t ever stop me, even after it strikes me
in the head and the officer who discharged it from his barrel
with intentions to free me from the nightmares I have about
his kind cries to the jury that his life was in jeopardy because
my phone looked like a weapon and the moon was high and howling.
Even after my community marches through the streets demanding
restitution and makes a memorial in front of the bodega I was assassinated
outside of immediately after buying a pack of Skittles and a bottle of water,
the same bodega where as a kid I’d walk through the isles with vast visions
of making it so big that even when I did get stopped, I’d be fine ’cause anyone
and everyone would recognize me. Even when you recognize me more as an
animal rather than a human and destroy my body with your brass bullet, I still
won’t be stopped because the most powerful protection doesn’t come from
the taxpayer dollars that I pay you to protect me,
nor in the form of vests, shields, helmets and hefty glass. My soul is guarded by
something much larger than us, a force that keeps our dreams alive long after
we’re unable to physically consult our mothers as tears drop from their
brown eyes upon a settlement check sent from the city, inadequate compensation
for the slaying of another Black body. A body whose heart added boundless love
to a world so dark, and whose brain contained everlasting ideas worth more than gold.
Isaiah Diaz-Mays is a writer currently enrolled at Dartmouth College with aspirations to be a poet, novelist and screenwriter. Born and raised in Hudson County, New Jersey, his inspirations are James Baldwin, Terrance Hayes, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.