Asonye, Ciara

We were pulled over on Saturday

Flickering red and blue light flood the interior of the car. Everything is still and silent.

And in that moment I remember my father’s words: “Find your way home safely”

We were pulled over on Saturday.

And in that moment, under the glowing lights of the police car, under the darkness of our skin,

Kristian’s face begins to look a lot like Trayvon’s.

No, maybe Philando, no, Tamir, no, Freddie, no, George.

We were pulled over on Saturday.

And in that moment we, as all black children do, remember 400 years of directions: “Find your way home safely”

“Keep your hands up”

“Do not demand your dignity.”

“Do not assert your personhood”

We were pulled over on Saturday.

The cop spews venom from his eyes, almost as if to say

“You’re young, you’re black, can’t you see this is all you’ll ever know?” “That we will never see you as a man?”

“That this powerlessness should feel as familiar as your own shadow?”

We were pulled over on Saturday.

With the prayers of our parents ringing in our ears,

The names of black men and women caught in our throats. We drive home in silence,

This time.

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