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“The Longest Dusk” by Brandi Keeler

The Longest Dusk

COVID vivid nightmares
of becoming a black man’s widow

Fear filling my belly
Breakfast. Lynch. Dinner.
I can’t stomach this.

Unrest is my bedmate
Can’t sleep even when I can breathe

Can’t breathe too deep when I do breathe.

COVID. Cops. COVID. Cops.
Which one will kill us today?

Shelter in place may be lifted
But not my hopes.

I want to hug my mom
But my arms aren’t 6 feet long

My arms aren’t 6 feet long

How high do I have to hold them before you see I’m not resisting?

I’m guilty for existing?
I’m guilty for wanting to live?
Am I wrong for wanting to

Breathe?

I want to right this country’s wrongs
But I ain’t did nothin’ wrong
I didn’t do this

Tried to talk to my therapist…
Ended up becoming her’s
What white guilt nonsense is this?

I feel like this trauma is too big
No,
This trauma IS too big

I want to see the glass as half full
But it’s shattered in the streets
Of Minneapolis
And Atlanta
And DC
And Auckland
And Oakland
And Toronto
And Flint
And Houston
And LA
And Berlin
And New York
And Paris
And Detroit
And Detroit
And Detroit
And Detroit
And Detroit

These shards been here since ‘67

We lived through a new millennium
Just to die in the last

We got the same knee on our throats
Got the same chains on our wrists
Same protests
Same fists
Same games
Different pawns
Same fires
Different dawns

I wish it felt like dawn.
but it feels like dusk

And I can’t sleep


“Couldn’t sleep. Wrote this poem to get my feelings out.” Poetry by Brandi Keeler, June 3, 2020.

Brandi Keeler is a Detroit-bred creative thinker, consultant and graduate of the College of Creative Studies. Expånd is her design studio and creative consultancy dedicated to do-gooders. She is on a mission to empower individuals and communities to address challenges related to growth, attitude, perception and humanitarianism.

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