Their Names Were Chosen

Their Names Were Chosen



Him: Is it Silver? Stiller?

Me: Sterling. Alton Sterling.

Him: Oh yeah.. I guess I shouldn’t travel because people die otherwise.


You forced me to breath his name as you pretended not to remember it. You wanted me to validate your ability to call attention to the eulogy of another slain black body but also forgive your incompetence as you struggled to remember his name.

Alton Sterling, Jerry Williams, Anthony Nunez, Philando Castile, Melissa Ventura, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till and so many more.

A deep seated rage continues to erupt from the pit of hell that also houses my stomach, abdomen, and barren womb. I will not take on the role of Martha or Mary and resurrect you from your chosen slumber. I will not let one more tongue slander the dead.

I carry each person’s name like shackles around my feet. Draped around my neck hang rusted chains, dragging across the cement floor, scratching my breasts, and clinging to my ribcage. My heart is blackened with the residue from your privileged ignorance & well meaning but misinformed bullshit. I am resisting the urge to dig through my skin to stop your masked hate from oozing through my veins as it searches for my internalized hate to finish crippling my body.

I scream and nobody hears me. I wail and people continue to exclaim that all lives matter. There is blood on your hands, a gun in your sling, and you look at me as if I am responsible for these murders.

Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake Up.

I will not give you sanctuary. You are not welcome here. I will not adorn your head with myrrh and frankincense. You can not continue to be carried by the mothers of the slain and eat heartily from their table.  How dare you look for anymore from us.

There names were chosen. There fate was death but that does not mean they are not forgotten.

Your memory will continue to rest in the arms of the living.


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