The Clock Is Ticking, by Kashae Garland
I am a Black body, well maybe body is giving my life too much value.
I am Black, part of the Blacks, I mean that is what I am called anyway.
Never called a Black person, or Black people, just Black or the Blacks.
I am waiting for my time, I know it’s short.
After all, have you watched the news? Blacks don’t live past 30 anymore.
I can see my death replaying in my head,
Or am I seeing Breonna Taylor’s death? Or India Kager's?
Doesn’t matter anyway, our lives are disposable.
I can see myself at the end of a gun, see my murderer standing in front of me with that shiny badge.
A badge of protection, honor, liberty.
A badge of America—for the people.
Don’t be silly, I am not people, I am Black.
Will I feel a sharp pain in my back,
a tightness around my neck,
a burning around my wrist?
I hear my voice beg, “Please!”
I hear my voice plead, “You’re hurting me!”
I hear my voice choke, “I can’t breathe!”
You know, like George Floyd’s, Elijah McClain’s, Eric Garner's and—
I wonder what my story will be when I die
I can’t die a college student,
A Black and unarmed college student.
Maybe I’ll be a thief because I stole a candy bar when I was five?
Oh, no a thug because I posted a video of me rapping song lyrics?
Wait, I know! An aggressive threat because I sat
in my car, slept
in my bed, watched
my TV. Just keep a lookout
for my mugshot I never knew I had!
Maybe if I am lucky my name will trend, hopefully for longer than a month!
Say his name,
Say her name,
All I ask is for my name to not be forgotten when I am gone,
Can you do that for me?
Actually, why bother, I know my name will be lost in the abyss of other victims,
I know my life will be replaced by the next.
It would be naive to think I would be the last, I am one
Of the many, and the more to come.
Kashae Garland is a rising senior and an English and Criminology major. She was published in The Villanovan as a freshman and in The Activist History Review as a junior. Her work focuses on racial justice and telling the stories that other Black students experience.