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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.


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