For him

What were you wearing
when this happened to you? 
Where were you going? 
You know it ain’t safe
to walk around here 
at night. 
Did you provoke him? 
Give him reason to believe
that you wanted what you got. 
Did you speak
when you should have
remained silent? 
Give him too much lip? 
Were you walking too fast? 
Not fast enough? 
If you had only slowed down
to allow him to catch up, 
the conversation 
could have been had. 
But now, 
the situation is out of control. 
What were you wearing? 
And did you put it on
knowing that people
who dress like that
get treated like this? 
And yet, 
you still put it on. 
So you accepted the risk
of what was to come. 
You can’t hold him
responsible for what he’s done. 
We do not put heroes in jail. 
If they didn’t want to get shot, 
they shouldn’t have been born
Black and male. 
You can’t wear a dark hoodie
on a dark night
and have dark skin. 
Let’s lay fault 
at the victim’s feet
as we lay him to rest. 
Being born. 
Listed as the cause of death. 

© 12 June 2017

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