my dear black boy,

I felt your body tense the moment the wailing of the siren rang in our ears

I saw the fright appear in your eyes just as the colored lights, red, white and blue, reflected off the mirrors of your car

I watched as your body panicked and sensed the fear jolting through you

That was the moment I realized that you could be the boy walking down the street with a hood on, skittles and an Arizona in hand

I realized that you could be the man pressed against the ground screaming “I can’t breathe”

I realized that you could be the man pulled over late at night, shot and killed in front of his girlfriend

I realized that no matter how bright I thought your future was

It was not promised

Because you have been raised in a country that hates you

In a country that insults your features and abilities but still will pay professionals for them

In a country that used the “N-word” as they whipped the flesh off your ancestors’ backs then tries to replace the “er” with an “a” as if they share the history behind it or the melanin that’s in our skin

In a country that kills your brothers while chanting “our lives matter, too”

And then has the audacity to use the defense that they were fearing for their lives

But I have grown to fear for yours

We’ve all seen the ways that people will attempt to strip you of your pride and

Undermine your intelligence

They’ll try to label you as a “thug” or a “gangbanger”

They will allow “authority” to murder you and leave you in cold blood

Then give that same authority paid leave while your mother and I weep and ask God why the men in blue that were supposed to protect you ripped you from this world

Ripped you from her world

From my world

From your dear black girl