My Dead Black Siblings

My brother Alton is dead.
I never got to meet him.
He was imperfect.
The media really wants me to be aware of this.
They say it’s his fault.
They say that he got what he deserved.
But I know better.
My brother was a child of God
made in His image.

His son, my nephew, was overcome with emotion at the press conference.
His grief, his tears, his murdered innocence, leave stains more permanent than those left by his father’s blood. A part of him died that day. A part of him was buried with his daddy.
He still loves his father. But now his love has no object. He will never sleep well again. He is forever changed.

It didn’t have to be.

I am standing in a garden.
An unholy garden.
Where the bodies
of my dead black siblings
are planted
but nothing blooms.
I am standing in a desert, a cemetery.
The ground is cursed.
This ground holds generations
of brutalized black bodies.
Their blood screams from beneath our feet:
“My God, my God, have you forsaken me?”
And He answers:
“No, my child. But the world has.”
God forgive us. We know not what we do.
God heal us. We are unwell.
God help us. We are the Anti-you.