Make sure to raise your hands as slow as possible. With white palms, you will try to convince them that you are somewhat white too, so don’t shoot. You will try to make them believe in your hallelujah, that you are just trying to be like Jesus and walk in His footsteps after 3rd day… alive…
that you are not Jesus, their nails are permanent, like nails in coffins.
Hope that your shaking hands remind them of tambourines on church Sunday, injected with jubilee, that you believe in beautiful musical symphonies, that plucking the strings of your soul will only cause discord in the Earth, that you are harmony, like moon to ocean tide,
but don’t let shaking hands remind them of Holy Ghost, that will only persuade them to make you hole-y ghost, they will say ‘heathen, you were never holier than thou’.
With raised hands, show them you believe in celebration like buzzer-beater, hand-raising applause, like confetti and streamers and fanfare, like game-winning touchdown,
just don’t remind them of field goal, some of them always believed the field was our only role.
Don’t shift your feet! With raised hands you will appear a crab shuffling, you’ve been in barrel to them, their eye been looking down barrel, and to them, your raised hands can look mighty oppressive, like you’re carrying the two blackest guns in America in your underwear, ready to draw and unload at moment’s notice, as if camouflaged like chameleon by your melanin, they will say your pocket knife is machete, or chainsaw, like you be the Black Texas chainsaw massacre-incarnate,
black man, with raised hands you will remind them of you as newborn, raising hands to eyes and above your head, crying out to mother, wondering where the hell you are, the light frightened you when you arrived, don’t let them scare your soul back into darkness,
black man, don’t let raised hands remind them of the crown you must place upon your head daily to remind your sanity you are still King,
black man, don’t let raised hands remind them of the weight you bench press off your chest each and every morning when you arise,
BLACK MAN… when you arise in the Morning…
remember they are aiming for you.
They are not just killing us. They are killing our minds. Our futures. Our prosperity,
black man, There are more bullets than just the ones from guns,
black man, Every time I wake up I see us dying from something,
black man, this poem could easily have said black woman. Black people. Black America.
My America. I believe in us. In the world. When will the day come when my raised hands, will only be to praise the change that happened?
When the hell can black people stop writing these poems?
~Virgenal Owens the Poet
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