I want… but

I want to speak up… but when I open my mouth all that comes out is a scream or, even worse, nothing at all.

I want to write something beautiful… but all that comes from my pen is bile and vitriol, my usual eloquence ripped away and replaced by incoherent curses and rage.

I want to tell my children that everything will be okay… but I swore I would never lie to them about the big things, like justice or equality or that cops help people.

I want to tell my beautiful young daughter to hold tight to that spark of rebellion that burns so bright within her, that drive to question and challenge authority that she embodies so well… but I see what happens to little Black girls who stand out, and I’m afraid for her.

I want to be grateful that my son looks like his white father, knowing that it will shield him from some of the injustices visited upon MY father and brother and uncles and ancestors… but I hate myself for it.

I want to believe that the world will change… but I don’t believe I will be here to see it.