Braids – Barbara Ruth

Barbara Ruth

if it hadn’t been almost Thanksgiving
if Akai’s Mom hadn’t loved his manbraids so much
if the best stylist he knew didn’t live in the worst housing project in NYC
if Kimberly had taken a bit more time zigzagging Akai’s cornrows
if they’d started the plaiting two hours before
if he’d come for his cornrows the next night
If he’d decided to crash on the couch and go out in the morning to show off his braids
if the elevator at Louis F. Pink House #1 hadn’t been broken
if the busted out lightbulbs in the stairwell of the eighth floor had been replaced
if two rookie officers hadn’t disobeyed orders and begun a vertical search of the building
if the Glock had stayed in the holster
if the bullet hadn’t ricocheted off the cement wall to strike below Akai’s beautiful braids
if either policeman had
called 911
performed CPR
done something besides argue then text their Union reps
Akai Gurley might have lived to be 30
before some cop got away with
murdering him

link: NYPD cop Peter Liang dodges prison for killing Akai Gurley

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