by Christian J. Collier
When I brought my hands together,
bowed my head, closed my eyes & began to pray,
I told God that I hoped everyone
in the midst of the shooting would be alright & protected,
even though in the hull of my gut,
I knew that they wouldn’t be.
I asked that grace would be given to the victims,
the officers on the scene & all of their families & friends
& that the perpetrators of this,
the harbingers of this disaster,
would come to meet justice quickly.
The last thing to exit my lips
& find God’s ear surprised me though,
sent a jolt sprinting through my entire body.
I felt slightly ashamed when I asked
that the shooters not resemble me,
that their skin would not be too dark
or that their names would not sound
too strange to the American tongue.
I pleaded that I could remain outside of this,
unblemished & blameless,
not in the eyes of the Almighty,
but in the eyes of those around me
who claim to follow his path.
Christian J. Collier is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow. He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, Rock& Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, and Grammy-nominee Minton Sparks. Some of his works have been featured on The Guardian, and published in such publications as The American Journal of Poetry, The Seven Hills Review, Dirty Chai, and Freeze Ray, to name a few.