I Am Not Armed

I am not armed.
My hands are on the steering wheel in plain view.
My doors are locked.
My window is cracked only enough to push my paperwork through.

I am not armed.
There are not any weapons in my vehicle.
There are no drugs or alcohol in my vehicle.
No, you may not search my car or my person.
No, I will not roll down the window or unlock the doors.

I am not armed.
My mouth says “sir” and “please” and “thank you.”
My business cell has a call to my lawyer.
I pay $250/yr to be able to call anytime 24/7.
My personal cell is live streaming to my Facebook.
I am praying someone is awake and watching right now.

I am not armed.
I am stopped on the side of the road.
It is the middle of the night.
It is the middle of nowhere on the highway.
It is the 21st century and I am afraid.

I am not armed.
I am still fearing for my life and safety.
I fear because I am a woman alone.
I fear because I am Black in a hostile world.
I hope I get to drive away and go on with my existence.

Too many lately are not given the chance
to be anything more than a sad statistic.
No matter the actions or compliance,
there is a lack of security.
Even with nothing to hide,
even when the truth is
“I am not armed.”

Niccolea Miouo Nance is a poet, artist, amateur fire-spinner, and soon to be world traveler via sailboat. She has been putting her emotions on paper since she could first write full sentences. Niccolea began performing her spoken word poetry in 2002 and has methodically developed her talent over the years with a multitude of feature performances throughout the Phoenix metro area as well as Tucson, Flagstaff, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Hermosillo, MX, and Shirlington, Va (in the Dc area).