A Different Kind Of Gravity ( 4 Trayvon Martin)

I’m having a conversation about
the shooting of
Trayvon Martin
With a lady who just happens to be white
And she says
I wish we could all just forget this whole thing ever happened
And simply move on

Let’s say
this happened on Sept.11th,2001
Instead of Feb.26th,2012
Let’s say that the victim was a tower in New York City
Instead of a black boy in Florida
let’s say that it was a plane instead
of a bullet that crashed so tragically
let’s say that this was an act of terror
and that the man responsible for that act was named
instead of Zimmerman
Tell me,
Which would you pray harder for?

You are what happens when America
is too busy looking
over it’s shoulder
to see what’s going on right
under it’s nose

I don’t know if your parents ever told you this
But here your last breath is easier to pronounce
than your first name
here you look a lot less intimidating at 6 ft. deep
than you do at 6 ft. tall, and
in the end
a casket will merely be another box for
them to fit you into
wherever you go
you’ll always be in question
regardless of your answer

here they don’t care that you wanted to
be a pilot someday
do you know what happens to black boys who believe they can fly?
They are often found face down &
wings clipped
As if they were somehow made an example of
by a different
kind of gravity

your father is probably all too familiar
With this painful physics lesson
It’s how he learned
that there has always been something about black boys
that compels people to approach them
their guns
already drawn

If your mother is anything like mine
She probably told you that it is your skin
Not your twitter page that ultimately
Leads to you being followed
knowing that your birthday suit
Made you look more suspicious than anything you had
hanging in your closet

I’m sure Geraldo Rivera would’ve told her to
Never let you out of the house wearing a hoodie
Even when the forecast calls for heavy precipitation
It would only give someone a reason to take your world by storm
and make the details surrounding your death
even cloudier than the sky
he would say
instead, that
she should’ve
simply given you an umbrella
It would’ve kept you from getting all wet up
even when it started raining bullets

Now your parents can only watch as
the police bring your hoodie in for questioning
Instead of your killer
Offer them skittles to erase the bitter taste
loss has left in their mouths
Asking them to bite the bullet and
swallow their pride while only
giving them just enough
iced tea
to wash it all
down with.

By: Jamaal St. John