Definition: a trigger of a firearm set for release at the slightest pressure, liable to discharge suddenly and violently.

the pressure so intense, the fear palpable,
the intersectionality of race and public safety,
someone is dead in the end,
whether driving while black with a broken taillight,
or reaching in a pocket for an ID when commanded,
(or a glove compartment, or for a phone).
If brown or black, you’re told, don’t run, don’t talk back,
don’t ask questions, question authority. Comply don’t reply.
Conceal, don’t carry your rights, you may be dead, right?
Breathe if you can with a foot on your head
and your head facing concrete,
in a choke hold, or bumpy ambulance ride.

Police are scared too, regardless of color,
their finger on the trigger.
So many guns on the street.
So much uncertainty.
So many random acts of violence,
and retributions and revenge, evening the score.
Is this the day I die in the line of duty,
eating pizza at Cici’s,
or refereeing a domestic dispute?
Will I return home to my family after my shift?
Will a body camera protect me or convict me?
Will a concealed gun take my life?

Hair -trigger
And what about the children, children with toy guns,
children playing with guns as toys?
Dead is still dead,
innocent is still innocent,
guilty is still guilty,
whether in the courts,
or the court of public opinion.
We are quick to judge, convict or defend.
Instead let’s breathe, just breathe,
just take another breath,
take your finger off the trigger; take the guns off the streets,
out of our homes, or leave the gun locked and holstered.

I don’t know all the questions to ask,
or how to find the answers,
yet what we’re doing is not working,
people are dying, and families are crying
and there’s no justice if black lives don’t matter,
or when those who protect and serve
are mourned and saluted
by their brothers and sisters in blue.


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