Hour 21, Prompt 21 – Black Matter

I want you to understand 

that my calculated dances

of pleasantry and avoidance

are part of my survival


Yes, I want to play and laugh

but not here because someone

with a burning hatred in their heart

might mistake my smile for bared teeth


No, I do not always have it in me to care

when the air is sucked out of the room 

and there is none left for me to breathe

so I can speak as the protagonist for once


I want to heal–to forgive and forget

without tearing of parts of myself

crumpling them between my own hands

and throwing them in the river


More than anything I want to move on

and find a way to ground into this place

and I want to know beyond all doubt 

that while I walk this earth my black life matters

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