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  • Writer's picturePoet

I Am Human

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Kauffman Center invited creatives to participate in Artful Poetry, the Center's first poetry competition.

I wrote a piece originally called "Why Are You On My Trail." Later, I revised the title to "I Am Human."


To the neighbor of

Anthony Avalos,

Atatiana Jefferson,

Avielle Richman

Botham Jean,

To the neighbor of

Donte Robinson,

Eric Garner,

Jacai Colson,

Javier Amir Rodriguez,

Jemel Roberson,

To the neighbor of

John Rivera,

Justine Damond,

Kevin Moore,

Lolade Siyonbola,

Philando Castile,

Rashon Nelson,

To the neighbor of

Ryan White,

Sandra Bland,

Sisters of the Fairway,

Sincere Gaston

Tamir rice,

Timothy Blancher

Terence Crutcher


Trayvon Martin,

To my Dear Neighbor,

Do you notice

That when we are

On our neighborhood trail

Our neighborhood badge

Badger me with questions?

Agitating the adage: “You don’t belong here.”

Agitated, I dodge the volunteer brigadier

Who would not hear my, “I belong”

Song sang like the Broadway “Rent” I paid

To walk along the walkway under six feet away

From my freshly paved, blacktop driveway

Dear Neighbor,

Do you notice how

The badgeless beard

Benjamin 'Benny' Coffin number III

Barricades, me, your neighbor–an affront

In front of my own garage?


Tell them you noticed

The berating barrage

of expletives

Tell them how

I exited

This bloody mess

Triggered a loud love for the hate

His soul was holding exploded my skull

Knees buckled; He's belting

Bare knuckled bullets through my brain

Though my body barely breathes


Tell them you see the fire-

Arm of his luger Heimlich maneuver

My chest pressed and soaked, throat choked,

By Beretta smoke laced with bitter Skittles’ taste

The rainbow of unalienable rights like Life,

Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness denied

Sentenced to death for attempted comply

Dear Neighbor,

At least, please capture this chapter

Let your camera phone answer the questions to leave a message

That these unchaperoned chaperones have haphazard reactions to mishaps

And happenstance keeps hap-hap-hap-hap-happening to hapless hopefuls'

Family members forever remembering crime scene photos

3 March - 7:30 PM

Neighbor, show them how I told the truth

And still, I lie

Drowning in my pool of blood

Adjacent to my pool behind

My house will be paid off from the life

Insurance check my wife collects


Will you pay your respects?

I need you to notice!

Tell them you know this man

Is your neighbor now

Tell then now

Not later


Will you notice?

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