For Michelangelo and Makiah

I can hear them

From the first words I read

Laughter high and smiles wide

Weaving in and out of what they

believe are safe streets


And in the last seconds

of hugs and kisses you don’t

know are the last you’ll ever give

Are the same seconds it takes

for someone to end the

laughter and make wide smiles

turn to the all to familiar screams of


The seconds it takes to cowardly

drag bodies along a road in a useless


Leaving another mother to bury her babies

Another mother to look into haunting

open eyes that hold a short lifetime

of black lives that did not matter

Except to those who will bury them

with heavy hearts and searching minds

And those who hear their screams echo

Long after reading the last lines of the report

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