Blog Posts, poetry, Previous Posts

We Still Can’t Breathe

I can’t breathe.
I’m not even sure you care
See, my breath accompanies my voice, and
My voice amplifies my pain
Pain of being overlooked once again
Discounted and dismissed

My words are twisted to satisfy your ego
Your mistreatment, and
Your refusal to see me and hear
Your words carry the weight and the water
To drown mine out

robert-njonjo-1GIeAEPqDvE-unsplash
Photo by Robert Njonjo on Unsplash

I can’t breathe
The tears are choking out any chance of
Coherent reprisal or
Intelligent reply
My mind rehearses your words
Words that say you appreciate me, but…

But…

I can’t breathe, ‘cause
The “but” kills and dismantles the praise

Are you intimidated by my
Audacity to be educated? Or is it my experiences
That enhance your inadequacies?
Or is it the fact that
I can string together words that bite and reveal
It could it simple be the color of my skin that causes you
To retreat to your cave called privileged

I’m tired of your white-faced lies
And your sentences peppered with giggles
Your smug face and “who me? racist?” blank stare
I’m ’bout sick of your welcoming words penciled on
Your clotheslining strong-arm stance

Personal
Corporate
Community we stand
But we still can’t breathe

Just when we think we can catch a break and our breath
We experience a sucker punch to our integrity
An upper cut to our dignity
A kidney punch to our humanity
I can’t breathe… and I’m tired of trying
We’re tired and we still can’t breathe

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