My Black Conscience

Torrey R. Thomas II


I can’t stand to understand a man that thinks
it’s okay to kill me because skittles is my favorite
candy to eat

No, it’s not sweet to leave my body on the
street because I protest laws that are obsolete

My country defines me saying,
“All lives matter”

Yes and no, because I’m sure if you ask all my
ancestors who climbed that totem pole, wanna
know if you know

what this color means to me, it’s not just a pigment,
it’s a figment from time
as a descendant

Not when we were slaves but when we were kings
in our kingdoms and queens with our freedoms
and every time I look in the mirror I see them

telling me don’t forget about your culture, and you
Are a soldier that can break these systemic boulders

Just use your words to lift the unlifted and gift
the ungifted to shift the unshifted,

to climb the ladder that staggers us with oppression
in hopes to add lessons to all the adolescents,

telling them Black Lives Matter.


Visual Art: Mark Stanley-Bey, Ancestor’s World, color pencil, ink on paper, 8.5″ x 11″.
“A warrior’s journey is one where their path is sure to lead them far from the world they once knew, yet, at the same time, reflects the world in which they’ve come to know as the ancestor’s world.”