On or about July 10, 20151

You are plowing through heartbreak, a cigarette between your fingers, the radio’s bass beating into your sternum, a song in your throat.

You feel watched, you pull over to avert and the eyes pull over with you.

You know that this happens. You know how this happens and why. You know that it has no name, cannot be named without a price, to call the officer out, to call the officer the po-leese, to say a thing like my rights, you will be naming that which will invite your death, and it will be you.

It is not funny how he asked a question to which he knew the answer and yet didn’t understand his own damned question.

It is an old question.

Discount your memory (and they will) but his answer to his question was: It feels like you will die very soon.

On or about July 10, 2015, you lived.

Heartbreak, whether you like it or not, makes you woefully aware that you have a heart. That it is beating, that it beats in a chorus, that it is yours. You can live for the heart even if — perhaps because — it is breaking. But you cannot live for him. So,

On or about July 10, 2015, you chose to live.

Which invited a very certain and undeniable death. So very certain, that three days later they called it suicide, called you crazy, invoked a trope to make it fall into sense:

Arrogant, uncooperative, smoking, angry black woman.

And we knew, Sandra, that whatever your choices were, whatever hand wrapped a thing around your neck (we know that thing), whomever witnessed your last breath (we know them as well), however you moved about your sadness (who would we be without sadness?), we knew that you did not merely, just so happen to, in this particular instance, even though you may have had any number of reasons to implode.

That is never how it works.

On or about July 10 to July 13, 2015, at various points in time you lived as reverb. Your self surrounded by your fading self in the vacuum of silence that is Black womanhood.

[1] From the lawsuit filed by the Bland family against Waller County.

The Mermaid

"You are at the kitchen table dicing a cucumber for Tia Reina’s ceviche."

Scratching out the City

From City Spaces: Filling in Berlin’s Gaps; Translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire

Sons & Other Strangers

“Two girls stand in line at the coffee shop wearing prairie sundresses and red lipstick, trying to remember the lyrics to a song.”