by Jafar Cooper

6 letter word.

I count from one to six.

Drip. Drip. Drop. Drop. Splat. Splat.

The sounds of the drops that hit the white floor.

Each one sounding louder than the last.

My life force staining the blank floors and walls that surround me.

Walls with a space for a one way window.

My hands behind my back.

Shackles on my arms.

Duct tape on my mouth.

My throat begins to bleed from the strain and constriction that I force upon my throat to scream.

It trickles down my neck and my chest, encircling my body until I feel it drip down my back and my legs.

I feel the sun on my back, I feel the pain on my skin.

I witness them being brought to their knees.

I hear the ringing bang reverberate through the air and shake my bones.

Breaking down all I used to perceive as normal, or even equal.

I see the grainy displays of them falling to the ground.

As they scream out to the world,

What are you following me for!?

I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!

It’s not real!

You shot me! you shot me!

Let go of me!

I cant breath!

Mom I’m going to college.

I cant breath!

I love you too.

I cant breath!

My world constricts as the white walls close in on my body.

My frame cracking from the pressure.

My sanity being enveloped in fear and paranoia that come from being here.

I walk forward through the halls, the streets.

My every day interactions and conversations.

Always trigger feelings of the shackles, the sun.

Images of trees being adorned, but not with ornaments.

Holidays don’t reach everyone in the south.

I try to scream against the white walls as they slam into me.

Day after day.

The tape around my mouth prevents my sound.

Intensifies my strain, increases the blood flow.

By now I think I’m waist deep.

Past the white walls I see people without duct tape, free of shackles.

They laugh as it begins to drown me.

Drip. Drip. Drop. Drop. Splat. Splat.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.

… Racism …

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