Why Our Cities Are Burning

[Certain Voices Aren’t Being Heard. Here’s one of them. Please listen.]

I hear on the news that a cop station went up in flames and I’m like yeah. Then I feel bad about cheering for that shit, but if you’re cheering at all right now, no matter what side you’re on, you’re cheering for that kind of shit. Seems like we can’t get away from it, this loop we’re in.

Stop, no, stop no, leave me alone, you’re resisting, stop, no, STOP, please, no, kill, silence, oops, tears, rage, but he said oops, NO, violence, rage, violence, disgust, look, look, kill, he was one of ours, kill, kill, reframe, circulate, sigh, back inside, nothing to see here, back away, no, stop, no, no, NO…

Riots seem like the worst thing from the safe side of the TV but they’re not such a bad deal when you’re in the streets, when your life is nearly lost every day, when you’re expecting murder to happen around you, from the good guys, from the bad guys.

It wears you out, getting asked to be softly and gently murdered every time you go outside.

Besides, there is always a riot on the inside. Time people knew. Time to turn the inside out and let the fire burn down something else for a change.

And, no, I don’t fucking care what I burn because no one cares that I’ve been burning my whole life so why should I care what my hands are doing, that I’m throwing a stone, that I’m breaking a window, that I’m dropping a match.

Every day I’m told this city ain’t mine. This glass, this road, this sidewalk. It always seems to be someone else’s. So why should I think anything different now.

Nothing’s mine, not even this goddamn match, not even this hate. These things were given to me as gifts, gifts I didn’t ask for, passed down like a heavy cabinet I never wanted, carted from house to house from city to city.

So now I’m giving it back. I’m sick of crowding my own fucking house with this stuff. I’m giving it back and I don’t care what you do with it. I hope it’s a burden. I hope I’m a burden. That’s all I can hope for now: that you feel my weight, that you hate the fire as much as I do, that maybe it gets inside you too and you can’t get away from it, and you have to live with it and we can finally be the same.

Cuz maybe then you’ll do something, or just burn, like me.