Although I am not white, I admit I enjoy white privilege because most people perceive me as white. My mother was Melungeon, a mix raced people of Appalachia, and my real father was of Hispanic heritage. Most people look at me and see white features and assume a Greek or Italian heritage. Yes, some ignorant people have said stupid, racist things to me because of their assumption of my whiteness. In light of recent events, the privilege given to me by my features and skin color demands that I stand up to help.
Isn’t home where the heart is? Or where you hang your hat?
My heart, well, I don’t know. I seem to have misplaced it Somewhere along the way. I think I just mistreated it And it decided to run away.
Didn’t treat it tenderly– Let it get bruised, Broken, bashed about. So, it up and decided It was time to go. It bought a one-way ticket On a now defunct airline And went to catch the sun On some tropical beach.
But that’s what happens When you carelessly Fling your heart around. It develops shadows, Misses beats, Valves leak. Then it gets pissed off, runs away, and home isn’t what it used to be.
I drift Drift in purpose, direction, Resolve in question. Telling myself on repeat I’ve no need, no want Of soft skin against mine. To feel another’s heart beat Against my chest. Though I remember, Though I can still imagine, When I close my eyes What it is To close my hand round the soft hand of another, To fall asleep embracing—entwined, entangled, To wake and smell sleep warmed skin, To touch and take and give and kiss Before coffee should touch my lips. Such hunger is not a thing I allow myself to taste, The risk too rich, too great to let it touch upon the tongue. I am not young enough for a taste of what Should bring me to my knees— Of what I imagine That she’d taste like memory.
I walk my dog by the children at play. I must stop to admire a small girl upon the swings, Kicking her feet straight out and leaning her body back, A challenge to the dimensions of air, A brave heart to dare push her feet against the height of the sky.
Yes, this girl, smiling in the joy of her challenge and dares, Will carry her brave heart into her youth, And, I hope for her, she will carry it to her grave, Dying with the bravest of hearts. Unlike me, who carries a heart tucked away Inside this lidded vase kept upon a shelf.
In this day and age We ought to be able to be wired Wired for anything, everything– For hope— –dreams –love –desire Wired for it all and more Wired for an add on room In the heart when we’ve run out– For expansion of sound inside When we’ve come to love the buzz of silence. For blood that doesn’t run dry, Doesn’t clot to clog the works up. Wired so we always have just one more try Inside souls always filled With the romantic dreams of youth. Wired so there are stairs always to climb. Wired so no wounds ever cut so deep Blood runs out, runs dry. Wired so we can learn Yet pain be erased. Wired, just wired, Plugged in with a soul of shiny copper wire.
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