By Emanuel Xavier

Officer, you may choose to disregard this demonstration

Remain as cold as silver badges

As unfeeling as dead sons kissed goodbye by broken mothers

You may choose to claim them unfortunate mistakes

Leaving others responsible to carry children from cradle to grave

Written off depraved criminals buried beneath tombs unmarked

Officer, you may choose to ignore their screams

As you silence the sounds of your fathers

You may choose not to look into their lifeless eyes

Identify them while holding back the fear- your own

Officer, this is not as simple as racial discrimination

the fingers on the trigger are not always white

Some belong to hands we hold in church during prayer,

recognize from sharing meals at dinner,

remember from being tucked into bed

Defining you the enemy would be difficult

when faces behind guns are often much like ours

Officer, this poem is not a protest

It is a prayer as we bury our loved ones

Start a revolution to reclaim one ridiculed word

Only celebrated by everyone during holidays

desired before our last breath-


Used by permission of the author.

From If Jesus Were Gay & other poems (Rebel Satori Press, 2010).