“Why do they have to keep saying Black Lives Matter??”

she asks me hard with loud indignation,
for obviously this disturbing of her peace
is a wildly unwarranted irritation.

“Why can’t they see that all lives matter?”
she cries as she sips her too expensive teas
not knowing how easily her glass ceiling can shatter.

I sigh, purse my lips, wonder at her resolve:
is this subject worth breaching?
Can her callousness be solved?

I take in a breath, let out my steam.
“What do you think that phrase really means?”
I ask calmly, though I really want to scream.

But what right have I to express this anger
when it’s not my kin shedding blood every day?
They need to rest, but can they rely on a stranger?

I try to paint a picture, you can think of the one,
two houses, one ablaze, and say look this way:
of these two houses to which should aide run?

She shakes her head, says it’s not the same,
says people are dying every day, every moment
why can’t she rest and keep her mind sane?

Yes, I concede, there’s suffering all around,
with you I share this strong lament,
but of these tragedies still one abounds.

And we can’t ignore our part in this horror.
When we can shut off the news and be at ease
note that others can’t escape or ignore her

this ferocious fate weaving paths obscene.
Leaving me and her dregs she walks away
and I grab her cup to look at its scene:

a hooded crowd waving crosses at the skies,
those she pretends she can’t see but allows to sway,
dutifully ignoring the real human cries

happening on her doorstep every day.


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