Dear Shooter (Everything is...)



Everything is fine, because

I am not afraid of your hands

I am not afraid of the way you reach

Pull my arms and I will unravel

Coffee colored threads to tie around your fingers so

You never forget to remember



Everything is wonderful, because

I am not afraid of your fists

Wrap them around my throat and I will hum the notes until your fingers vibrate like

The strings of a harp in a symphony


Clench them,

and I will stretch my hopes like a tarp and


to the rhythms you bang

Thank you.


I've sat on a shelf long enough

There is a layer of grime on my skin, I'll pin

My melanin on a clothesline next to my aspirations and


As you beat the dust out again


Where do I even begin?


Everything is great, because

I am not afraid of your teeth

Bite me

Aim for the veins and I will bleed ink onto white canvas,

Lead and mercury onto unlined sheets

Until the very taste of my poetry





Everything is awesome, because

I am not afraid of your guns


I don't think you heard me, I said


Everything is awesome because

I am not afraid of your guns

I am not afraid of your guns

I am not afraid of your guns

I am not afraid of your guns


I graffiti those words across my solar plexus in the


I smear those words in color across my chest and

Wait for you to spit bullets or

Shoot syllables until I


Like stained glass

but, walk on what's left of me and

You will dig the shards from the soles of your wounded feet and

Every step you take will paint my past in self-portraits through the street


Here I am


Shoot me


And I will polish each bullet like a stone and skip them across the stream of your consciousness every second that you’re awake

Take my sharp tongue and trim your crosshairs

Tie my spirit around your neck and trail each exhalation like the tail of a kite on the wind

I will pour my soul into your eyes until it spills down your throat and fills your empty threats with



Everything is alright


Shoot me


So that she can go home


Everything is wonderful


Shoot me


And I will lock your bullets in my chest, where little boys in hoodies can't find them


Shoot me


In the back as he runs and I will send your bullet like a shiver down my own spine




Everything is fine


Bounce your bullets around in my skull like loaded metal dice

Live or die

Live or die

Live or die

You can't gamble in church, so


I'll hold them for you


While you sit on the pew

I'll trap each one in my ribcage

And soundproof my body so that you can hear

the organs play


Everything is okay because

I'm not afraid




I don't think you heard me. I said


You don't own me

You don't own us

And you can't afford to entertain the idea that you ever did

That you do


Everything is awesome, because

We refuse to be afraid of you


Take your best shot


And when the smoke clouds our minds and clogs our lungs, we will

Cough the soot onto hymn books and sing

The stains from choir stands on Sundays mornings


Everything is awesome, because

We know

That even though he never finished reading the paper he left on the kitchen table


Even though she never got to take that trip


Even though they never made it to school


Even though they never said goodbye to their kids


Even though you took a father and a sister and a mother and a daughter and a son and a cousin

We can blink the rain from our eyes and

Plant their spirits in the pores of our skin so that

Every time you look at us

All you see are blooming photographs of them


You can't take that away




Everything will always be awesome, because

We can forgive




And every spring we can


Learn to live




This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 



Holy hell, that is absolutely gorgeous. I don't even know what I can say, because that is a gorgeous poem and I love it. You are clearly a very talented person.


Breathtaking. As a fellow poet, I commend you for creating this amazing piece! I would love to see more from you!


My God, the way you so easily blurred the line of life and death shows that you are a true artist, thank you for allowing me to witness the masterpiece . 


This was wonderfully fantastic, unfortunately for me and everyone else who entered this scholarship slam.


Amazing. Absolutely Amazing.

Ashlyn Denson

This is amazing, you deserve the prize baby girl.


The best poem I've read in a long time.

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