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Closets

17 Jan

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You spoke hate
And I spoke up…
For someone else.

You spoke ignorance
And I spoke up…
As an “ally”.

You spoke stereotypical “they”
And self-righteous “we”
And I fought back the tears
Hearing you meant me
While forgiving you for not meaning to.

I sought reprieve,
Walking the halls of my imagination
Amid muffled echoes of understanding
From days gone by,
Memories of moments stolen
With people unlike
Who you think I am.

I grew tired of correcting you;
Because speaking up for someone else
Wasn’t enough to make you see
The someone else was me.

I grew weary of tolerating
And educating your lack of understanding “them”,
Like filling a holey bucket.
My patience and information couldn’t plug the leak,
But maybe my truth could.

So I opened up my mouth
And I showed you the wounds I’d kept invisible
And I painted them red
So there would be no doubt,
No place you could avert your eyes from my reality:

I. Am. “Them”.
I. Am. “Me”.
I. Am. The same as ever,
But not what you have always thought.

And that closet
Had no oxygen.
It had no sunlight
Because your alienation of Other
Had taken it all away…
From me.

So why do I speak my truth?
Why do I remind you who I am?
Because too many others
Keep their wounds invisible,
Can’t paint red the pools
Of their own blood they are drowning in,
Silently,
From the daggers of your words…
People you’ve never met,
People you’ve never spoken to,
My family,
My tribe.
And so I speak
To make it easier for them
To step out into the light,
To fill their lungs with oxygen,
And to not have to die in the closets
That you locked us in.

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Posted by on 17 January 2017 in Poetry

 

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