Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: ‘Not Another Goddamn Body,’ a poem by Donyá Collins


Daunte Wright.

Adam Toledo.

Ma’Kiah Bryant.

Andrew Brown Jr.

A swarm of videos crowd my head and my psyche, deaths on replay behind my eyes. It feels like slowly but surely the hand is tightening around my neck. 

How do I go on? How do I go about my day as if every day is not a rebellious act of victory in the face of the murderous oppressor? 

How do I go and worry about trivial things like homework and getting to class on time when my community’s blood flows through the streets like a river? How do I sleep at night knowing it may be my last? Do you sleep at that point? Or do you take in greedily as many hours as you can get? 

My people make up only 13% of the American population yet I’m 2.5 times more likely to get shot than a white person. 

I simply can’t take it.

I can't stand seeing another body drop, another cry for a mother with their last breath, another pop as the bullet shoots from the gun and rips a soul from this earth with it as it falls to the ground.

It’s the anxiety in my soul as I step outside my door. 

The frustration of seeing people justify murder as if the 7th Amendment doesn’t exist. 

The anger where I irrationally wish to burn the cities to the ground in vengeance. Where I angrily scream, “What’s it going to take?”

But the worst is the heartbreak, the agony left behind in its wake combined with the paralyzing fear. It’s watching their last moments blasted on every network like a looping memory. It’s the flood of media afterwards on CNN, MTV, Fox News and The Shaderoom. Hoping it won’t be me tomorrow.

With every death it feels like a domino forever propelling us towards something that feels alien to me, but also like a spiritual warning. Like the coming of a reckoning or a revolution. Something America can not handle. Something’s gotta give.

I draw the line in the sand.

No more, we demand no more. Our children deserve to grow up, parents shouldn’t be burying children.

 Don’t kill our children and then get mad when we protest or riot, since when did you care about buildings anyway? You as a society blamed all of the Middle East for something a few did on 9/11. Where was your concern for buildings then when you went to war? 

Don’t quote MLK to me as a form of gradualism when as a society you still put him in his casket. Later almost always means never and never is not an option.

We’re getting hunted for sport by gangs you dare call police.

I can’t jog, I can’t be in my house, can’t call the police when I’m in danger of getting jumped, can’t have a phone, can’t legally carry, can’t sleep, can’t comply with the cop’s orders, can’t have skittles, can’t play cops and robbers, can’t go to church, can’t run and can’t breathe. 

So with this I draw my line in the sand.

We’ve lost so many.

We’ve been here since around 1619 and it’s been 400 years of torture, torment and lives lost. Not one more. Not another goddamn body. I can’t take another body, another video, another hashtag.

No more excuses, trials and retaliation.

No more, we demand no more.

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