REAR VIEW

Right hand at twelve o’ clock on the steering wheel
The speedometer needle higher than the limit
Traffic is thick and I’m a bit irritable
I check over my shoulder and press down on the pedal
An impulse decision made me forget to signal
It had been a long day at work and I wasn’t thinking
I was tired at the moment, this was true
Until my eyes saw those lights turning in the rear view

My chest tightens in knots
So I pump on the breaks
And I frantically start analyzing all my mistakes
As I maneuver to the median
I’m wondering what I did wrong
And then my mind starts racing with;
“How much did you drink?”
But I don’t drink and drive
I’m on my way home, alone
I realize as I stop
That I’m reaching down for my phone
My seatbelt is fastened
My pockets are void
I’m shaking like a developing polaroid.

My chest tightens in knots because I’m young and reckless
Breaks and mistakes are just a learning lesson
I wonder and worry because I care about my record
I can’t afford a ticket on the insurance I get help with
I’m on my way home, alone
Towards family and friends
A safe place with support where I can rest my head
I reach for my phone so I can text my mom
To let her know I’ll be late for disobeying traffic laws
My seatbelt was fastened and my pockets void
But let’s be real, consequences don’t get to good girls and boys
After stern conversation with the man in blue
I’m free to go to roam the roads like I usually do

My chest tightens in knots because I’m young and black
Breaks and mistakes can mean a life in prison
I wonder and worry because I’ve known the loss
I can’t afford to lose my life, I know the cost
I’m on my way home, alone
But these tired eyes look stoned
And my culture made me harmful through those stories they’ve been told
By family and friends
In that safe place where they rest their head
I reach for my phone so that I own evidence
I’m sliding the button so I can use the lens
My seatbelt was fastened and my pockets void
But let’s be real, if they want to destroy then they’ll destroy
These pockets don’t matter, cause it’s my body that counts
So I’m calling my blessings before they count me out
After sitting at gun point with the man in blue
Am I free to roam the roads like you usually do?
I was tired in the moment, this was true
Until I saw those lights turning in the rear view.

-By Evar After-
Written as a response to ongoing injustice. #blacklivesmatter

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