THIS IS WHAT BLACK FEELS LIKE

THIS IS WHAT BLACK FEELS LIKE, you tell me,
but I cannot see
for I am blind.

Inside of me,
there are rooms big enough for both of us,
but there are locked doors,
built long enough ago, 
giant gates we know we didn't put there ourselves:
they are welded shut.

And through these fences, 
I feel your soft black hands:
they are both a wisp of smoke
and a crown for the stars.
I feel your soft black hands,
but I still cannot see what it means to have my words called "slang"
or to have my mistakes searched for in defense of my murder.
My success has never been considered lucky given my circumstance.
The ratio of my achievement to my work ethic has never been unfair.
When I raise my voice, it is not because I am angry but because I am strong.
When I stand up for myself, it is not because I am defensive but because I have conviction.
When I question others, I am brilliant instead of unaware.
When I am smart, I am because I am
-- and it surprises no one.

THIS IS WHAT BLACK FEELS LIKE, you tell me,
but I cannot see
for I am blind.
Instead, I feel your soft black hands:
like me, you are someone's child,
someone's someone.

THIS IS WHAT BLINDNESS FEELS LIKE, I start to say,
but you've evaporated through the chimney
as if I could show you the flue
(you see, how will we call this world our home
if even the constellations have wounds?)

I relinquish my blindness,
aware of its removability.
I see only rooms inside of me
big enough for both of us
with cracked ceilings
and cold windows
and locked doors.

Drops of blood fall into my eyelids.

I rust.

 

 

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