Bullet with My Name on It

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Original Poetry
by Maliyah McDonald

Mama, what if I got a bullet with my name on it…

What if there are no what if’s?

There is a bullet with my name on it.

One engraved with my identity in cursive like repetitive eulogies.

“She was good, she was smart, she didn’t do anything to anyone.”

But what if I wasn’t?

What if I did?

Does that make them more deserving of my life than me?

Somewhere out there, there is a bullet with my name on it.

Shivering in a cold barrel, ready to make a martyr out of me.

Ready to rally a revolution dressed in my hoodie, smothered in my blood.

Prepared to make an Emmitt Till out of me…

A Martin Luther…

A Fred Hamilton…

A Trayvon out of me.

But mama, I don’t want to be a symbol for the resistance…

Another reason to kneel

Another tear on a broken black mother’s cheek cause it could’ve

Been her baby, a tear on your cheek because I used to be your baby.

A video of another lifeless black body in cuffs.

God, how many bullets have my name on them?

They ‘gon put them in my back, aren’t they?

Mama…I change my mind…

I’ll be their martyr…I love you

God, promise you’ll spare my brother and sisters…I love you

Officer I’m unarmed…Please…I’m human too.

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Bullet with My Name on It