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This poem ends when you say it does.

The list ends when you say.

              Walter Scott 50

When the names are more call to action

              Bernard Moore 62

When the names are clots of blood in your throat

and wounds in your flesh 

              Lavall Hall 25, Jonathan Ryan Paul 42

When they become battle scar and war cry

              Jamie Croom 31

When the names are no longer just tear drops in a pool.

When they stop becoming trendy

When you are finally reminded it is genocide

              Terry Garnett Jr. 37, Monique Jenee Deckard 43

When you are reminded it is maafa

When you see the holocaust as  holocaust

and not headline.

               Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. 19, Tyrone Ryerson Lawrence 45, Naeschylus Vinzant 37

When we stop closing the discussions on race in America. Only then will the list close.

When police  no longer cower behind judges, cackle behind badges,  holster their bias and prejudice, 
and mistake it for their taser. 

Only then will there be no faceless names for the news to vulture 

                Andrew Anthony Williams 48, Dewayne Deshawn Ward Jr. 29, Ledarius Williams 23

When we stop making celebrities of carcasses killed carelessly and left to rot in a decaying 
judicial system. 

When the ages stop sounding like jersey numbers.

Yvette Henderson 38, Edward Donnell Bright, Sr. 56, Thomas Allen Jr. 34

It is as if America has run out of brick, out of chain link, and are creating wall with the bodies 
it has stacked

Fednel Rhinvil 25, Shaquille C. Barrow 20

The list is too long to keep using figurative language...

but the names themselves are metaphors

for the lack of respect brown bodies receive...

Kendre Omari Alston 16,  Brandon Jones 18, Darrell “Hubbard” Gatewood 47, Cornelius J. Parker 28, 
Ian Sherrod 40, Jermonte Fletcher 33, Darin Hutchins 26, Glenn C. Lewis 37, Calvon A. Reid 39, 
Tiano Meton 25, Demaris Turner 29, Isaac Holmes 19, A’Donte Washington 16, Terry Price 41, 
Stanley Lamar Grant 38, Askari Roberts 35, Dewayne Carr 42, Terrance Moxley 29, Theodore 
Johnson 64, Cedrick Lamont Bishop 30, Anthony Hill 27, Terence D. Walke 21, Janisha Fonville 20, 
Phillip Watkins 23, Anthony Bess 49, Desmond Luster, Sr. 45, James Howard Allen 74, Natasha 
McKenna 37, Herbert Hill 26, Markell Atkins 36, Kavonda Earl Payton 39, Rodney Walker 23, 
Donte Sowell 27, Mario A. Jordan 34, Artago Damon Howard 36, Andre Larone Murphy Sr. 42, 
Marcus Ryan Golden 24, Brian Pickett 26, Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed 41, Ronald Sneed 31, 
Leslie Sapp III 47, Matthew Ajibade 22, Charley Leundeu Keunang, “Africa” 43 and.... and..... and... 

Stop me whenever you’re ready

to stop


About Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)

2014 National Poetry Slam Champion, poet, teaching artist, and father. For info, books, albums, and/or booking go to View all posts by Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)

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