There’s so little poetry to breathe,
if your gasps for air are called annoying.
Do you remember a time when catching your breath
was not an act of rebellion?

When your lungs were just lungs
and their expansion was not
a protest – you were not required a
witness to prove you’re not asking for too much,

that you need this oxygen.
When your demand for equal rights
is labeled “too opinionated”
and its just too difficult

for everyone to not call
you slurs. And I can’t tell if these
mornings are the trigger
or the trauma. The familiar

feeling of distance.
My heartbeat is once again
a fire alarm, my feet are a broken
traffic light and I really, really need

to get out of here.
Friends are a test of patience,
and trailing off is just a defense
mechanism for your secrets.

And you stay hungry
because your blood boiling
is all the heat that
the kitchen can handle.

Can you remember a time
when your body wasn’t a
controversial monument?
When your love wasn’t

a civil war?
When the ground
beneath your feet
belonged to you?


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