Sitting With Roses

I had to sit with the roses today. Stood there quietly. Listening.

And the roses reminded me that a young woman is dead. Was killed. She’s not here anymore. At all.

The roses reminded me of her boyfriend. How alarmed he must have been to resort to shooting at the intruders, his desperate efforts to protect his exhausted lover. Trying to grant her life saving mind and hands this brief respite of sleep and peace. The roses drew me deeper into the scene. The flash and flurry of bullets, a hailstorm from renegade demigods hellbent on their offbrand armagedón, successful only in bending hell against black life once more.

When did he know? Did he scream her name? BREONNA!!! NOOOOO!!! BREEONNNAAA!!! Did he become temporarily bullet proof as he dashed towards her body, too late, already coated in the sticky red of shattered blood vessels like so much toxic syrup?

Did she hear him. Did she know anything was happening. Did his pleas for her life penetrate her dreams- a warning not to come back this direction. To keep on pressing towards the light and be free? I sat in silence with the roses today. They spoke to me. Reminded me that this black woman was murdered by cops. That she is dead. Good and truly dead. Deaf to any celebration in her honor.

For a few minutes, I pulled off my own mask in some twilight rendition of Luke’s final moment with his father. I breathed deeply, smelling the roses. The scent of the affirmation of black life, of her life, wafting through my nostrils and down my body. I breathed the roses again and again and again.

Wondering which had the chance of lasting longer- the rose cast in honor of black life stolen? Or the black life itself. I sat quietly with the roses today. And they passed me one final message, before my feet carried me away.

Say. Her. Name.



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