Fruitvale Station all the time
This rumpled sky, rough worthy of Van Gogh,
a hundred colors graying into dusk
a palette mixed of white in black to mimic coming dark.
At Fruitvale Station New Years Eve (2008-9) a young black man was jumped then
policed to death
subway crowd recording pictures under threat
till the train moved out.
Fear, hysteria, chaos, reactions under duress -
we have divided our nation into warring camps while
Justice, head in hands,
catches the action too late for
the weighing and balancing for which we turn to her after, torn,
we have berserked.
We grieve an instant before the next bad-news pulse
beats away this alarm.
Shrug or shout later, how change that fraught interface between
what we fear and
those anointed as our bulwark,
frail tho they be,
not up to correct swift determinations,
just jumping at noise, struggle,
a young man harmless till they thugged him?
It's coming evening now, and for now
cicadas soundtrack the time -
pop of guns come later
- Friday night in America
young men and cops are cruising armed,
looking for a hair out of place,
trigger to take offense.
How do we collectively learn to draw a breath,
to see past the fear-paintings that debase our nature,
to prove we are the homo sapiens -
the thinking beings -
we are named?
Fruitvale Station again and again -
why are young men of color the enemy?
why are police an occupying army?
Life is a wink between waking and gone -
why do we invest in damage and defense
when the door to the stars yawns near and cold?
When we lie in ashes, my atoms and yours rejoin once more.
Start by remembering:
this is who we are:
bits of one whole
so soon to return
having learned -