A Poem for Charlottesville

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A Poem for Charlottesville by Mel Chanté

They thought they could contain you,

could somehow shackle your spirit,
strip you bare of the value carried
on your back,

on your brown skin,

Charlottesville2

and leave you there,
still
lifeless
without breath
without voice.

Because God forbid you speak their shame into existence—speak their shame as it is—
still
there
in their eyes
in their hands,

as our blood becomes said accident,
as our blood becomes our blame,
as our blood becomes too common a bath
we never wanted to sit in,
we never wanted to soak in.

What a sight to soak in—
all this red freedom.

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