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Sincerely, the essence of Devin

| Tuesday, May 1, 2018

To the man who killed my brother,

I hope it hurts you. More than it hurts me.
I hope it eats away at who you are on the inside.
In time, I pray I get to see your face.
I pray you don’t have the courage to look away.

I am his youngest sibling and his former best friend.
His living essence, his closest of kin.
I am the soul you erased from existence.
The 11-year-old heartbreak that will never be done healing.
And they tell me that heaven couldn’t wait for him, but how could it wait for you?
Couldn’t it wait for two.
I would’ve got in that grave with him.
If you’d be in a coffin too.

Run Forrest. They say.
And he ran.
Away from bullets, away from love, away from the wrath of a man. But they still caught up to him. You. The angel of death, the devil himself.
I cry sometimes. Breathe often.
Dreams of fairytales in your coffin.
Dancing on your grave.
Preparing for the day that I see your tombstone next to his.
Those ash blue and lifeless lips.
Until then,
I’m sinking now.
And my feet can’t seem to find solid ground.
I’m solid now.
Or at least I’m trying to be.
That’s just a lie I tell my father when he asks of me.
Because in truth, I have to be.
Tears don’t pay bills or get college degrees.
But maybe they’ll convince a judge to never set you free.
Because for you, his life was worth less than money.
For you, it was your way or the highway, but I pray his leads to heaven.
Devin.
Did you know that was his name?
Or were you just too busy being Cain?
And did he have to be your Abel?
Or were you not able to put down the gun for once.
Give him the ability to love someone — to raise his daughter.
To conceive a son.
To live.
To see the accomplishments of his kin.
I breathe sometimes. Cry often.
Nightmares of you standing over his coffin.
And there is no justice.
Just my poetry.
Somehow in America, this is the only way for people to know his story.
And maybe his skin wasn’t light enough, maybe it wasn’t bright enough, maybe it wasn’t white enough.
And maybe yours wasn’t either.
If I stood here and said it wasn’t a factor. I’d be a liar.

I like to think that Tupac is still alive.
And maybe my brother is, too.
But my father tells me that he had more courage than to run and hide from the truth.
But I wish it was true.
I’d rather see him in a cell than in a coffin.
And I still cry sometimes.
And I wish I didn’t breathe so often.
I wish I could’ve taken his place in that coffin.

To the man who killed my brother and me,
I hope you see who you really killed now.
Who you really left gasping on the ground.
And I’m so sorry that you felt as if that was your only way.
I pray that it won’t have to be someday.
I hope you are sorry for this mistake you’ve made.
Bringing my brother to his coffin.
I hope you don’t cry sometimes. I hope you breath more often.

Angelle Henderson is a sophomore student from New Orleans, Louisiana, majoring in political science and international economics Arabic. Aspiring vegan, author, and President of the United States. She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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