A. Joleen

“Let my son live”

I was going to write this piece about the extroversion/introversion spectrum. How I crave the time spent with myself equally as much as the opportunity to befriend 10 strangers. How low energy I’ve been since the decrease in social interaction, the confinement.

But what good are my words, if they don’t mean anything?

– If they have no purpose.

I dropped my sister off at a Black Lives Matter march this morning. As I was leaving, I saw a Black mother holding a sign that read,

“Let my son live”

I couldn’t stay because I had to work. “Had” to work, as if it was a chore. As if I wouldn’t be doing it, if I didn’t “have” to. But it seems awfully selfish to complain about having work, about still getting a paycheck, given the current climate of the world.

It seems even more selfish, that I’m still able to work when







will never get the chance to again.

It seems even more selfish to celebrate my acceptance to the MFA in Creative Writing program of my dreams when

People are dying

Sick people are dying at the hands of a disease we’ve yet to defeat

The same disease that is killing Black americans at a higher rate than any other group

Black people are dying at the hands of our “protectors” what’s new?

at the hands of the people who can’t stand to lose a drop of their undeserved power – all white

When I read this mother’s sign, pleading for the life of her son

my heart shattered in nearly every place. I was reminded of the reason I’ve always been hesitant to attend marches, rallies, protests. It’s not because I fear for the worst – that a peaceful fight for justice turns to bloodshed and more injustice.

It’s because my fragile heart can’t take it. Maybe I’m just a coward.

To be in such an environment

to have the truth screaming in your ear

blocking your vision so that it’s the only thing you can see

The truth that, Black mothers have to beg for the lives of their Black children

Why should someone ever have to beg for a life?

Since when did the words

I can’t breathe’


push harder



The truth is, that even when a Black mother begs for the life of her Black son, he will still use the last of his breaths, to beg for his mother.

I’m not Black. I won’t and can’t ever claim to understand what it’s like to be a Black american in a white amerika. But I am a Mexican american in a white amerika. In that I am your sister, your ally. So, I will fight for Black lives so that we can fight for the lives of all people of color. So that one day, we won’t have to fight for the right of a life.

I didn’t work today. I didn’t attend a march. I fought the only way I know how –

with this pen

- Your sister of color, your ally

(Black Lives Matter)

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