“hands up”
the words hang
in the air
like the deafening
silence following gunfire
“don’t shoot”

and in that moment
i came as close
as i’ll ever get
to understanding
what it’s like
to be a young, black man
to knowing that if
my skin was darker
i could be dead

and in the solitude
the mourning
the suffering
and all the sorrow
that i’ll never endure
i joined as we all knelt
and prayed with our breath
our shudders
our silence
our tears
that there is hope
in our future