To Breathe Without Air

To Breathe Without Air

Mexicans are rapists he says

Muslims should register he says

Nasty woman he says

 

These words are nothing, you say

Merely shadows of thought

Not solid like sticks and stones

These words mean nothing, you say

Let them roll off your back

Like water

 

But these words are oceans

To drown in

An ocean swallowed whole

And wept out

wave by wave

A thousand paper cuts

From which red ribbons

of blood and humanity flow

The disappearance of air

Until there is nothing

Left

To breathe

Until there is nothing

Left

Of you

 

So we call out in this airless space

We can’t breathe, we cry

We matter, we yell

 

Other voices all the while shouting louder

Build the wall they say

Lock her up they say

 

These words drowning out the cry of humanity

No matter

We shall learn to breathe under water

To breathe without air

We shall shout louder

Katherine Johnson, Duke University

The Fallacy of Inevitable

The Fallacy of Inevitable

A Seat At The Table

A Seat At The Table