“We’ll see. .’” says this optimist turned pessimist, “Maybe you are right and I would pray you are if I thought prayers were heard. But, I see blood that flows, crimson and delicate, from the bodies, white and brown and all shades in between. I see real blood, the sticky, wet kind that dries brown, almost black. I wish I didn’t see it, but it’s there, dripping and flowing onto the pavement and into the gutters. I wish I didn’t hear the screams when shots are fired into peaceful crowds of protesters. I wish I didn’t hear the coughing and choking from tear gas thrown at ordinary people in insanely extraordinary circumstances. I wish I didn’t hear the silence of those no longer allowed to speak or those now confined because they spoke or yelled or wrote the truth. I wish I didn’t see the lonely closets, once empty and sealed shut, now filled with all the ones not like the ones who decide who and what we should be and how we should live. I wish the closeted ones could once again be in the sunshine where they danced for a very short while. I wish I or you or one of us who care could find the keys to those closets, but the keys are gone, lost in an unmade history of redacted laws. I see the black lives that should have mattered, but never really did and now matter even less, if that is possible. I see the lifeless eyes of more black lives not allowed to live just because they were born a darker color than those who decide which color is better, which color is more worthy to live. I see the sad and desperate women impregnated by men who wield power over the bodies for which they claim ownership, even if momentary and violent ownership. I see the tears of those women dripping and flowing, just like the blood, onto the pavement and into the gutters. I see precious girls growing into jaded women to be grabbed and belittled and held down from the heights they want to reach. I see boys growing into men I will not like, just like the ones I don’t like now, the ones who control, bully, own, incarcerate, impregnate, closet, shoot and kill. I wish I didn’t, but I see the blood, the real kind, dripping and flowing. . .”

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