when death is so near

The latest media storm around black bodies and law enforcement happened 5 miles from my house and 3 miles from where I work. I actually drive through #FalconHeights often, on the way home or a friends house. Please remember when you’re consuming media and data that at the end of the day these are people. This is my community. This is my home. #PhilandoCastile is my neighbor. And that’s where our response lies, church–in radically affirming that he too, is created in the Imago Dei.

when death is so near 


I can’t seem to turn off the news

Tune out the screens

It’s everywhere

brown bodies

black lives


the debating between who’s humanity

is actually seen

this time the body fell,

not so far from me


it’s on the street that I drive to work

or home sometimes, from my friends

i’ve stopped at that gas station before


these people are not in a place far away

where the tears burn someone else’s eyes

and i can tune out the screams on tv

i may have seen them at the grocery store

there’s no mute button for reality


so I’m caught in this between

my body

where I recognize

that same deep color in my own eyes

black lives

brown lives


we share the same demise

that my soul is deconstructed before my body is recognized

the fault must be mine that I want to survive


but to criminalize white bodies?

that’d be the crime

i know their fear is worth more than mine


and death is never as near

when you’re recognized

for who you are– human


i don’t get Burger King

and a bullet proof vest

the only bullets are put through my chest

each time i hear the acquittal


i won’t be treated the same

if I’m shoved to the ground

so say my name


When death is so near

you hear us say

Black Lives Matter

as a reminder

our fear counts too


When death is so near

you hear us say

brown lives matter

it’s a reminder we’re still here

those left behind


When death is so near we must repeat

like that old hymn refrain

a call and response

that reminds

victory isn’t lost


Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter.