Look mom, no hands

He commits murder, bare-handed.
Except his hands are in his pockets.
He doesn’t need them

when the life below him
is already face-down, handcuffed,
suppressed for centuries.

All it takes is a knee
to a vulnerable place.
But when Kaepernick took a knee,
no one died

Still, protest peacefully, they say.
This is no time for riots,
just as it was no place for marches,
just as it was no era for speeches.

These are easy things to say
when you are on top,
when you can breathe—

here, where you are
casually living,
casually alive
with your hands in your pockets.

Abigail Pillitteri is the author of three books of poetry: Brewing, All-Nighter, and Entanglements. She is also a visual artist, working with a variety of media. More of her work can be found at www.poetartist.com and on Instagram @poet_artist. Abigail can be reached at abigailscontact@gmail.com Read other articles by Abigail.