What Do You See? Questions from Trayvon Martin to his killer


What do you see when you look at me?
You don’t look me in the eyes
So what is it you’re looking for?
Am I the kid who beat up your brother in middle school?
Am I the one who stole his bike and you couldn’t do anything about it?
Do you see vengeance in me?
A chance to get back at him? To get over?
To “make things right?”
Is that why you followed me?
Or are you a “teacher?” A righteous educator taking life lessons to the street
with a bully curriculum and a 9mm?
Do I look stupid to you?
What was your GPA?
Do I look like I need to learn a lesson
Hard as steel today?
Aren’t we all stupid to you?
Aren’t we all carrying guns and breaking laws?
Or is that just you?
Really, what do you see?
What can you see?
Can you see my father? Or does my skin preclude me from having great male role models like yourself?
I hear you mentor black boys; what have you told them
About hoodies and iced tea?
What of Jim Crow and self-defense laws?
What of segregation and privilege?
Have you shown them what streets they cannot walk?
What white ladies they cannot talk to
Or whistle at
In this sundown town?
Have you drawn chalk outlines for them
To step into for the “safety of the community?”
Have you told them how much their hair reminds you of drugs
Their noses violence, their lips rape, their skin crime?
Have you scared them into forgetting their pride
And cowering before you, Massa?
Or are they just the exceptions to your black rules?
Just the Oprah’s and Obama’s among the 99% of us thugs?
Am I all dick and fists to you?
All crack and rap and basketball?
Am I not a child still?
Can you not see my mother in my cheeks?
Her joy and laughter and pain and hope
Breathing through my lungs?
Is she not holy, not sanctified, not deserving?
Like your mother?
Can you see her grief?
Can you touch one tenth of the earthquake
Rumbling in her chest every morning she wakes
Without me?
Can you imagine the almighty strength she wields
To prevent herself and my father from finding
Sweet relief in the same violence turned around?
Can you see how god she is?
How god we all are?
Even you?
I wonder, truly
What do you see?
What can you see
In me
Besides bullets?


3 thoughts on “What Do You See? Questions from Trayvon Martin to his killer

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