It was all up to you

Screams,
Shouts,
As the black smoke fills the heavy air.
Families ripped apart,
“boys and men to one side—
Women and girls on the other”
Repeated day after day.
No food,
No water.
Here,
We are not people.
Here,
We are numbers.
1086965
19874356
We wear the strips of the dogs,
The stars stripped off us now.
The blood of my people spilled before my small feet.
They’re eyes left open,
Burned,
No prayers said on their behalf.
Here,
We are not people,
Here, we are not human.
We are dogs,
Filth,
Dirt under their feet.
Our identities stripped,
Numbers replace letters
That once arranged a name
So pure
And lovely—
Passed down from mother to daughter,
Grandmother to granddaughter.
The thick smoke rises,
As they rush us faster,
Scared,
Starved,
Nothing but skin and bones—
Ashamed of how we look—
They’re shock,
The vomit,
We turn our back,
We are not hideous,
They should have come sooner…

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